New anti-smoking campaign aims to Close the Gap

The Coalition Government will launch the latest phase of the National Tobacco Campaign tonight as it aims to Close the Gap in smoking rates.

Page last updated: 01 May 2016

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Sunday, 1 May, 2016

The Coalition Government will launch the latest phase of the National Tobacco Campaign tonight as it aims to Close the Gap in smoking rates.

Minister for Rural Health Fiona Nash said the Don’t Make Smokes Your Story featured new advertising materials that focus on the values within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, such as the health and wellbeing of their families.

“It is important that we reduce tobacco smoking among all Australians," Minister Nash said.

"But the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 15 are 2.8 times more likely than other Australians to be daily smokers means there is a clear need for focused encouragement and support.

“It is estimated that smoking accounts for one in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths and about one-third of their burden from cancers and cardiovascular disease. That’s why we have created a powerful and targeted campaign to support our First Australians to quit, stay quit, and never to start smoking."

Don’t Make Smokes Your Story is the most recent phase of the Australian Government’s sustained and multi-faceted approach to reducing smoking rates over the past several decades—an ongoing initiative that has resulted in a substantial decline in national smoking rates.

The Australian Government has invested $10 million for the campaign, in addition to the $116.8 million for the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.

Approximately 39 per cent of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over are daily smokers.

The Australian Government has committed to halving the 2008 smoking rate of 47 per cent among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by 2018, and to reducing the overall smoking rate to 10 per cent in the same period.

“A smoker’s health will improve gradually after quitting and mortality is about the same as a non-smoker if quitting is achieved by the age of 45,” Minister Nash said.

“The Australian Government is committed to reducing the devastating impacts of smoking on Australians and we know from the results of previous phases that anti-smoking campaigns work.”

Don’t Make Smokes Your Story will be rolled out nationally across television, print, radio, outdoor and online.

National Tobacco Campaign materials and information on how to quit smoking are available at www.australia.gov.au/quitnow

Additional support to quit smoking is available by downloading the free My QuitBuddy mobile app or call the Quitline on 13 7848.

• TVC key number – 45 sec – NTCTVCSMO45
• TVC key number – 15 sec – NTCTVCSMO15
• Radio key number – 45 sec – NTCRAD45

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122 les.white@regional.gov.au
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