Regional | Chatbots

'Ultimate tuakana' chatbots support rangatahi quit smoking

Source / Tua

Two new digital tools have been launched for young tāne and wāhine who want to stop smoking.

TUA - Hine and Tāne chatbots available 24/7 on Facebook messenger simulate human conversation sending daily check-ins, tips and distractions to provide support through the first 30 days of stopping smoking.

"Hine’s here to be the ultimate tuakana, sending tips, encouragement & funny videos to help you ride out those cravings. Have a rant with her if you need to too, she’s got your back!"

Alongside the chatbots, the TUA website and social media pages offer a range of mātauranga Māori to help whānau connect to themselves and te taiao (the natural environment), a Hāpai Te Hauora release says.

This includes knowledge of maramataka (the Māori lunar cycle), pūrākau (stories and legends) and karakia "to empower them in their daily lives on their smoke-free journey".

Hāpai te Hauora CEO Jason Alexandar (Ngāpuhi) says tūpuna had "sharp intellect in creating new technologies".

"While smoking isn’t from here or belongs to us, we have the tools and creativity to find innovative solutions to be well. TUA is an example of that."

"Rangatahi can access immediate support on their terms and connect to other smoking support services through the chatbot," adds Kathrine Clarke, director of health promotion at Te Whatu Ora.