2017: It’s the time to butt out

Campaspe News - - NEWS -

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.

Ken Ma­jor

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