iSISTAQUIT campaign helping Indigenous pregnant young mums to quit smoking for good

Published 30 May 2022
iSISTAQUIT smoking campaign video screenshot A screenshot from one of the videos.

This World No Tobacco Day (May 31), Southern Cross University’s iSISTAQUIT project is launching a compilation of campaign video clips to raise awareness about the importance of culturally appropriate care in assisting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pregnant women to quit smoking.

Tobacco smoking represents the most important preventable risk factor for chronic disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. About 44% of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women smoke during pregnancy compared to 12% of their general population counterparts.

The initial six videos to be launched on the YouTube Channel iSISTAQUIT TV will showcase the importance of culturally appropriate care and communication in supporting women to quit smoking. Research has found education and advice on their own are insufficient, and women are needing practical help and support with quitting.

iSISTAQUIT has also developed a training package to help equip health professionals to have culturally appropriate conversations with their patients. Currently there are 26 sites nationally that have undertaken the training.

The iSISTAQUIT campaign films launch is 31 May 2022 – World Tobacco Day – at 11am AEST.

Visit the iSISTAQUIT website to find out more www.isistaquit.org.au

Hashtags: #iSISTAQUITTV #WNTD2022
 
Quotes from Southern Cross University Professor Gillian Gould, lead investigator and GP, based at Coffs Harbour on the NSW Mid North Coast
“Smoking can be used to deal with everyday stressors. It’s important that Aboriginal women feel comfortable with their health professionals to talk about quitting, and it’s vital that a health professional has the appropriate approach to start the chat with minimising barriers. It’s the chat that could save a life.”

“By pregnant women quitting smoking it can be an important cornerstone for the whole family’s respiratory health, by reducing tobacco smoking in the home, and by becoming community role models.”

“We have found there is considerable evidence that smoking cessation counselling from health providers helps smokers quit smoking. However, lack of training in culturally sensitive smoking cessation methods may prevent them from delivering effective smoking cessation intervention. In an Australia-wide survey of 378 GPs and obstetricians working in mainstream and/or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settings, we found clinicians lacked confidence in providing treatment to women and 75% agreed that training would help improve their management of smoking in pregnancy.”

“Our iSISTAQUIT social media campaign, designed in consultation with community women and with Aboriginal Health Professionals, has a bright, upbeat energy to focus on the positive outlooks and celebrate in the successes of the women.”
 
Quotes from Southern Cross University Senior Project Manager Rebecca Hyland
“Tobacco smoking represents the most important preventable risk factor for chronic disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. About 44% of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women smoke during pregnancy, compared to 12% of their general population counterparts. There needs to be a positive shift and culturally supportive change to help our women quit for good. And that’s what we see iSISTAQUIT being: it’s the positive message of ‘do it for you, do it for bub, and do it for mob’ that we want echoed.”

“iSISTAQUIT is a holistic model of care, it looks at culturally appropriate conversations with patients. There are touch points through-out an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman’s life where these conversations can make an impact.”

“Our women are strong, resilient and capable and want to quit smoking, we want to help start the conversations between friends, family and health professionals, as it’s often the support systems in place that can help a smoker quit for good.”

“From the start of this project, community consultations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations and health professionals have advised and guided our work. It’s really important to our women that we create a culturally safe and inclusive approach imbedded with the knowledge and expertise from our frontline workers.”
 
Quotes from National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, Tackling Indigenous Smoking Health Professional, Maia Dowd
“As a male Indigenous health worker, when talking to mums or would be mothers I would always struggle with what to say in terms of the facts and how to approach the conversation in general. After taking part in the training I can now say that I can have these conversations with no feelings of doubt, and I feel very confident in my ability to have these conversations now.”

Media contact: Sharlene King, media office at Southern Cross University 0429 661 349 or scumedia@scu.edu.au