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Smoking Health Target Success in Bay of Plenty

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Over 26,000 Bay of Plenty smokers have been given help to quit during the past 15 months as a major health target is met for the first time.

Every year the Ministry of Health sets District Health Boards six health targets and tracks their progress against them quarterly. Part of the Better Help for Smokers to Quit target is that 90% of Primary Health Organisation (PHO) enrolled patients who smoke are offered help to quit in the preceding 15 months.

This quarter, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) achieved the target figure of 90% for the first time since it was set in 2015 said Health Equity/Public Health Portfolio Manager Brian Pointon.

“The DHB congratulates the three PHOs and their general practices for achieving the target for the first time and recognises the additional efforts they have put in over recent months,” said Brian. “The target is that smokers are offered advice and support on quitting and many will have accepted that offer and are now living a smokefree life.

“Smoking remains one of the biggest causes of ill health across the whole population, including the impact on babies and children, as well as non-smoking adults. It is also the most important unhealthy behaviour that causes health inequalities for Māori. Having access to this advice, and making a decision to be smokefree will impact on the lives of these people and their families over the long term.”

The collective target is an averaged figure based on the results of the Bay’s three PHOs: the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation (WBOPPHO), Ngā Mataapuna Oranga (NMO) and the Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance (EBPHA).

The EBPHA’s Smokefree Lead Lizzie Spence said she appreciated the hard work put in by its general practices and their dedication towards improving health.

“Hapainga Stop Smoking Service also provides free help to quit in locations such as the home, marae or coffee shop,” said Lizzie. “It’s fantastic that we are all working together towards an empowered smokefree community.”

The WBOPPHO’s Phil Back also congratulated its general practices.

“The WBOPPHO is pleased to have now reached this target for the last two quarters and acknowledge the hard work undertaken within our general practices to achieve a lift in performance of over 31% in the last 12 months.”

If smokers in the Bay of Plenty want to quit they should contact their GP or nurse, or the BOP Stop Smoking programme “Hapainga” by calling 0800 HAPAINGA (427246) for a free service.

The result follows the BOPDHB’s recent announcement of its best ever performance against the Ministry of Health’s Shorter Stays in Emergency Departments target. Over 96% of patients across Tauranga and Whakatane hospitals were seen within the target waiting time of six hours during the October-December 2016 quarter.


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