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31 May 2014
The Australian Government has launched a new phase of the National Tobacco Campaign to coincide with World No Tobacco Day.
Speaking at the launch at Cancer Council Victoria, Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash said the campaign activity resonated with the goals of World No Tobacco Day – to lower death and disease caused by smoking.
“Significant gains have been made in cutting smoking rates, with the number of Australians aged 18 years and over who smoke daily falling from 22.4 percent in 2001 to 16.3 percent in 2011-12,” Minister Nash said1.
“More work however needs to be done, particularly in those sections of our community where smoking is more entrenched, including in regional and rural communities, among culturally and linguistically diverse groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“We’re also determined to continue to support pregnant women who want to quit smoking.”
Minister Nash said the new phase of the campaign promoted tools to support people attempting to quit smoking, including the Quitline (13 7848), and the ‘My Quit Buddy’ and ‘Quit for You, Quit for Two’ Smartphone apps.
This new phase of the $4.6m campaign includes television, radio, print, out-of-home and online advertising. It will run from today until the end of June, and focuses on groups which experience a greater burden of tobacco-related illness. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Tobacco smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease among Australians, killing over 15,000 each year and costing an estimated $31.5 billion each year in social and economic costs.
The anti-smoking campaign is designed to work in parallel with other initiatives.
In addition to social marketing campaigns the Government’s tobacco control measures include: excise increases; plain packaging of tobacco products; labelling tobacco products with updated and expanded graphic health warnings; prohibiting tobacco advertising and promotion; and providing support for smokers to quit.
The Government also subsidises some nicotine patches and other smoking cessation therapies through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. These products are available at a reduced price for eligible patients with a doctor’s prescription.
All levels of Government, through the Council of Australian Governments, are committed to reducing the national adult daily smoking rate to 10% and halving the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult daily smoking rate by 2018.
For information and support go to the Quitnow website or phone the Quitline 13 7848.
Minister's media contact: Carolyn Martin, 02 6277 7220 / 0417 966 328.
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics – Australian Health Survey: Updated results, 2011-12.