World No Tobacco Day Tomorrow

Quit Tasmania launched its new advertising campaign, “Real Stories”, to coincide with World No Tobacco Day – tomorrow, May 31.

“Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organisation and partners mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use,” Cancer Council Tasmania CEO Penny Egan said.

“Our new media campaign, ‘Real Stories’ received mass media coverage in Tasmania and we hope this results in more calls on the Quitline into the future.

“Most smokers want to Quit. We believe that more Tasmanians will be encouraged to Quit by hearing the Real Stories of Gary, Cam and Kiah … Real Tasmanians who have fought their addiction and are now Smoke-Free.”

Mrs Egan said Cancer Council Tasmania is also urging the Federal Government to continue with the policy raising tobacco tax.

“In December 2013, we saw the first of four annual tax increases which will eventually see a packet of 20 cigarettes increase by more than $5 by 2016.

“It is estimated that increases commenced on the December 1 will result in 210,000 fewer Australian adults and 40,000 less teenagers smoking, which will eventually save lives.”

Tasmania last week won an A rating in the national AMA/ACOSH Dirty Ashtray Award, recognising Tasmania’s strong and comprehensive program to address the high prevalence of smoking. Mrs Egan welcomed the award, but said Tasmania needs to “stop smoking”.

“Tasmania has the highest rate of daily smokers in Australia, except for the Northern Territory. Our daily rate is 21.7% versus the Australian average of 16.3% – in 2014, this is simply unacceptable as a health risk.

“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Australia. Exposure to tobacco smoke, passive smoking, is a significant cause of preventable mortality and morbidity in
Tasmania.”

Mrs Egan said Tasmania’s anti-smoking legislation is strong, but took years to achieve.

“Cancer Council Tasmania believes we need continued investment by government at all levels to keep the pressure on decreasing overall smoking rates.

“On average, 568 Tasmanians die each year due to tobacco and the cost to the Australian health system is estimated at around $1.836 billion.”

Media contact: A.Mark Thomas, M&M Communications, 0422 006 732