Day aims to en­cour­age smok­ers to quit

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page -

The health risks and costs of smok­ing will be in the spot­light on Fri­day as part of World No Tobacco Day.

The day is an ini­tia­tive of the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion to en­cour­age a global ap­proach to re­duc­ing the health risks and costs of smok­ing.

Smok­ing is one of the most se­ri­ous health risk fac­tors in Aus­tralia. Quit-smok­ing cam­paigns seem to have been more suc­cess­ful in metropoli- tan than in ar­eas.

Recog­nised as the largest sin­gle pre­ventable cause of death and dis­ease in Aus­tralia, smok­ing is as­so­ci­ated with an in­creased risk of heart dis­ease, stroke, em­phy­sema, asthma, bron­chi­tis, eye dis­ease, kid­ney dis­ease and cancer.

More than 6.7 mil­lion people live in ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas, and a sig­nif­i­cantly higher pro­por­tion of them

ru­ral or re­mote smoke; 22.4 per cent in outer re­gional and re­mote ar­eas and 18.4 per cent in in­ner re­gional ar­eas, com­pared with 14.7 per cent in met­ro­pol­i­tan ar­eas.

Not only are rates of smok­ing higher in ru­ral ar­eas, but there is less ac­cess to med­i­cal, gen­eral and specialist care, lower treat­ment rates and later hospi­tal pre­sen­ta­tions.

In Be­nalla smok­ers who are seek­ing help to cut down or quit smok­ing can dis­cuss the sup­port that is avail­able with their GP and other health work­ers. All the ser­vices work with people to sup­port them make bet­ter choices to im­prove their health.

Quit coun­sel­lors are avail­able at Be­nalla Com­mu­nity Health and ap­point­ments can be made by phon­ing 5761 4500. Ev­ery­one can ac­cess the ser­vices of QUIT Vic­to­ria on­line at www.quit.org.au or by phon­ing the Quit­line on 13 78 48.

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