Joining forces to battle Tasmania’s high smoking rates

FOR the first time, GPs and pharmacists across Tasmania are uniting to battle the state’s high smoking rate as part of the Lung Foundation Australia’s OUIT4october initiative.

QUIT4october is a one month-long initiative dedicated to helping people quit smoking with the support of their GP or pharmacist throughout October.

Supporting the education of healthcare professionals to ensure better management and success rates for smokers to quit for good, the initiative offers direct access to smoking cessation educational modules – one for GPs and one for pharmacists

Tasmanian Minister for Health Michael Ferguson said smoking rates in Tasmania (at 17.9 per cent) were a serious issue that was prioritised in the Tasmanian Government’s ‘Healthy Tasmania Five Year Strategic Plan’.

“We are excited to be supporting Lung Foundation Australia to launch QUIT4october – a unique one month program to help Tasmanians quit smoking,” he said.

“I urge our community to join together and turn intention to action.

“Working together at a community level to encourage people to quit smoking is a vital step forward in promoting healthy living and preventing disease for a great number of people in Tasmania.

“That’s why we are urging each of the 92,000 smokers in Tasmania to register for QUIT4october.”

Lung Foundation Australia chief executive officer Heather Allan said quitting smoking could be a lonely and isolating journey.

She said that was why QUIT4october provided support for people starting their quit journey, whether it was the first or 15th attempt.

“We want people to know they are not alone and that the Lung Foundation Australia and their health professional, pharmacist or doctor are all there for them,” she said.

“Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, regardless of how old you are or how long you’ve been smoking.

“Stopping smoking decreases the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke and chronic disease.”

The QUIT4october website has a public interactive information page about quitting smoking, an online lung health check and a downloadable checklist to support the conversations with GPs or pharmacists.

Those who sign up online for the Quit4october campaign also receive ongoing messages of support through regular emails and texts.

The QUIT4october campaign will be running until the end of October.

To register, visit www.quit4october.com.au.

Caption: From left, Lung Foundation Australia chief executive officer Heather Allan, local ex-smoker Sheryn Triffitt and Monique Mackrill.