2017: It’s the time to butt out
NEW Year, new you?
Now is the time to chuck out those cigarettes for good with the Campaspe area having one of the highest smoking rates in the state.
Quit Victoria is encouraging rural and regional Victorians to butt out for a fresh start to 2017 with higher rates of smoking in those living away from metropolitan areas.
The Victorian Population Health Survey shows 13 per cent of Victorians smoke daily or occasionally.
The smokers in the Campaspe region, however make up 21.9 per cent of the Shire’s population.
This is slightly less than the 23.2 per cent of people who identified as exsmokers.
When comparing Campaspe to other surrounding local government areas the shire is behind by a long way.
The City of Greater Bendigo only had 13 per cent of its population smoking, where the Mitchell Shire was lower again with 12 per cent.
Regional and rural Victoria make up for 16 per cent of all smokers compared to the 12 per cent in metropolitan Melbourne.
Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White said a new year was a great time to make a fresh start, and encouraged rural and regional smokers to put quitting at the top of their agenda.
‘‘It doesn’t matter if you didn't quit smoking on January 1 — in fact, we recommend setting a quit date after the holiday period when people are back to work or the kids are back at school,’’ Dr White said.
‘‘This gives people time to put strategies in place to avoid situations that trigger the urge to smoke, and set up some new and healthier routines for 2017.
Despite the obvious financial benefits of giving up the habit, Dr White said most people don't quit on their first attempt.
‘‘Not everyone succeeds the first, second or even third time they try and quit but it’s important to give it another go.’’
Although unsure of why smoking rates are higher away from the city, Dr White suggests there are more opportunities to keep smoking.
‘‘For example if they are working outdoors, compared to those working in the city,’’ she said.
‘‘In certain pockets of Victoria where smoking rates remain high, it could be that smoking has been part of the culture for a long time, making it more difficult for smokers to quit and more likely that teenagers will take up the habit.’’
Tools are available at www.quit.org.au or smokers can call Quitline on 13 78 48.