World No Tobacco Day — a World Health Organisation initiative celebrated on 31 May — is an opportunity to remind Australian’s that although smoking rates are declining, there’s more to be done.
Data from the Medibank Better Health Index has revealed a steady decline in smoking since 2007. According to the data, the average number of cigarettes smoked per person per day has declined from 2.67 in 2007-2008 to 1.62 in 2014-2015.
This trend is supported by Australian Government data that shows smoking rates among Australian adults have almost halved since 1980.
But it’s not all good news — despite the decrease in general smoking rates, the government reports smoking rates remain high in certain communities.
In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities the smoking rate is 38.9 per cent, three times that of the general population. And smoking still accounts for 20 per cent of all Indigenous deaths.
Aboriginal Co-ordinator for the NSW Quitline, Rebecca Hyland says World No Tobacco Day is an opportunity for smokers to take the first steps towards adopting a much healthier lifestyle.
“We know there is no safe level of smoking and the devastating health implications smoking has for our people,” says Rebecca.
“Quitting is one of the best things anyone can do to improve their health and we are here to support our people through their quit journey. It’s not an easy journey, and we are not here to judge. We are here to work with our people.”
Smokers can start planning now for their quit attempt by calling Quitline on 13 7848 and speaking to a professionally trained advisor for advice and support.