New Zealand-born Samoan Sesalina (Sesa) Setu who’s based at the Fono’s new location on the North Shore is part of the Fono’s new team of Quit Smoking Specialists who not only want to help you stop smoking but also improve your health and wellbeing.
As a mother of two Sesa regretted that she used to smoke in front of her daughter before she kicked the habit.
“My daughter, two years old at the time, picked up a cigarette that I’d thrown down while I was smoking out the back door.
“I thought to myself ‘this isn’t good’, and that’s why I stopped smoking.”
Sesa, who has a background in working with community holding previous roles in non-profit organisations and more recently for the Waitamata Primary Health
Organisation, says it’s a privilege and an honour to be working in a Pacific organisation like The Fono.
As someone who’s been helping people to stop smoking for over seven years she credits her ability to be doing what she does to her parents’ sacrifice.
"They migrated here, laid the foundation, bought the house and did the best for us.”
Sesa’s family settled on the North Shore; however it didn’t stop her parents from giving her and her siblings a traditional island upbringing.
She is fluent in the Samoan language and protective of her cultural values, which she says are helpful in what she does when it comes to working with her people.
“I love working with our Pacific people because there’s a sense of belonging, and belief in our support and ability to provide the service.”
She doesn’t like referring to the work she does with the Stop Smoking Service as treatment, as it’s too clinical. And she understands, as a former smoker, that people don’t see smoking as an ‘illness’ that needs to be treated.
Rather, her goal is to help people understand that smoking can lead to illnesses, and to support them to stop smoking.
“It’s about showing them how to look after themselves and their health and wellbeing. The best way is to stop smoking, and I’m here to support them.”
Go to the Fono Stop Smoking Service for more information.
Stopping smoking is one of the hardest but the best decisions you can make for your own health and for the health of your entire family.
The Fono can support you in your journey to stop smoking.