'Stall in the Mall' - Community Cessation Pilot
Goals and objectives
To prompt more people to make more quit attempts more often by:
- Reducing barriers to accessing cessation services and free NRT.
- Providing a referral mechanism to cessation services.
The general public of Whangarei, particularly parents.
Project fit with 2025 aims
Cessation - Increased quit attempts contributing to a decrease in smoking prevalence.
A cessation stall was set up fortnightly at two alternating Whangarei locations for two months. Each stall ran from 11am to 1pm and became known as the 'Stall in the Mall'. The stall consisted of a table and chairs with banners advertising the smoking cessation services available. The public were encouraged to talk to a trained smoking cessation worker and receive information on smoking cessation for themselves and/or their family members. Referrals to GP’s, Aukati KaiPaipa (AKP) and Quitline were offered and free NRT was available for those who wanted to make a quit attempt.
The stand was staffed by personnel from the Northland DHB Hospital Smokefree team, the Manaia Health PHO smoking cessation coordinator and Ngāti Hine Health Trust AKP staff.
The project was promoted on Iwi radio during the week the stall was running.
Ngāti Hine Health Trust, Northland DHB and Manaia Health PHO.
The results were very positive from the four stalls held over the two months:
- 86 were people given quitting advice
- 55 referrals to Ngāti Hine Health Trust AKP team, 48 of which enrolled into the AKP programme.
- Of those referred to AKP, 29% were quit at 4 weeks and 39% were quit at 3 months.
- Approached by a number of people who weren't smokers themselves but looking to support a smoker
- Council mall rules restricted the project to one “event” per three months. The success of the project has resulted in the rules being relaxed to allow this project to be run once a week if wished.
- The 'stalls' will be used in the future when staff are available, for example they will be running throughout May leading into World Smokefree Day.
Planning and evaluation
- We developed a plan, including evaluation measures, which was agreed to by all parties. Having a clear idea on how we would evaluate the project from the outset was critical as it ensured we set up the systems required to evaluate the outcomes e.g. the record sheet (see attached). We had short briefing meetings before and after each event either in person or via email. In person proved to be more effective, however this wasn't always possible.
- Having the three organisations involved helped to spread the work load among staff. Each organisation brought resources, skills and experience that contributed to the project.
- Balloons, prizes and competitions drew people in and enabled a non-confrontational way of initiating conversation with parents about smoking. E.g. “Would you like a balloon for your child? We are promoting Smokefree and offering free smoking cessation support – is that something we could help you with?”.
- Smokefree/Auahi kore teardrop banners, a large green sign printed with 'Whakamutua Patai Mai. You can Quit. Ask me how' and green Smokefree t-shirts worn by the staff made the stall look attactive.
- Advertising the ‘Stall in the Mall’ on the iwi radio community notices in the few days before each stall proved useful.
- In addition to those approaching the stall, a large number of people were approached if they were seen smoking. The majority of these people were open to talking and this offered an opportunity for brief advice to be given.
On-site cessation advice and support
- Having several cessation practitioners available for people to talk to and register with on the spot was crucial, particularly AKP. People appreciated the information on other cessation medications and various referral options, along with the free NRT that we had to give away.
What could be done differently
- More cessation practitioners and AKP staff who are able to provide a follow-up service as part of their work – there was high demand for the AKP service.
- Setting aside an area for in-depth korero would be beneficial.
- Take more time to brief and de-brief with the team.
- Use the opportunity to try approaches for a specific audience ie. young people and pregnant women.
- Select a few key resources to take along, as opposed to an overwhelming selection.
The organisations involved now need to determine whether they have the capacity to continue this initiative. Both to staff the stalls and to follow up on the referrals that are generated. If personnel were available the stall would run on a regular basis.