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30 November 2016
A significant portion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers have taken action to quit smoking after seeing the Don’t Make Smokes Your Story advertising campaign.
Assistant Minister for Rural Health, Dr David Gillespie, said an independent evaluation of the campaign by ORC International found that it had generated high awareness and was very effective.
The campaign, launched in May this year, focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 to 40 years who smoke or have recently quit.
“This is an important campaign that seeks to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit smoking for themselves and their families,” Dr Gillespie said.
“The Coalition Government is committed to reducing high Indigenous smoking rates.”
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt said the campaign was effective because it reflected the impact of smoking on family and community.
“The campaign shares the story of a young man who decides to quit to make sure he will be around to look after his children as they grow,” Mr Wyatt said.
“Approximately 39 percent of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over are daily smokers, which is nearly three times the rate for other Australians.
“Smoking is estimated to account for one-in-five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths, so changing attitudes to smoking is vital to closing the gap on health.”
The campaign highlights the dangers of smoking, the reasons for quitting, and the tools and support available to help support people who have quit. It featured on television, radio, print, online and outdoor media, with a strong presence in regional and remote communities.
The evaluation showed nine per cent of people interviewed had quit as a result of seeing the campaign and 27 per cent had cut down on their smoking. A further 26 per cent intended to quit in the next month.
Calls to the Quitline increased over the campaign period and downloads of the My QuitBuddy app reached more than 30,000 new users.
The campaign complements the Coalition Government’s $116.8 million Tackling Indigenous Smoking program which delivers targeted smoking prevention and cessation activities.
For more information, please contact:
Minister Wyatt’s Office 02 6277 4707
Minister Gillespie’s Office 02 6277 4960