Sticking to a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking can be tough, but there is plenty of support available to help make 2017 a better year for your health.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley said tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable disease and premature death in Australia.
“Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing compounds and 400 other toxins, and harms every organ in the body and can lead to significant health complications,” Minister Ley said.
“The nicotine in tobacco is particularly addictive, which is why it can be so hard to quit for good.
“However, the good news is that when you quit, your body actually begins to reverse the damage from smoking almost immediately. Within 6 hours of your last cigarette, your blood pressure falls and your heart rate slows.
“The Australian Government is a world leader in tobacco control measures and increasing tobacco excises, plain packaging, graphic health warnings, and quit campaigns over the years have all helped to reduce the adult smoking rate in Australia to 14.7 per cent.
“But we can do more and our aim is to reduce the smoking rate to 10 per cent by 2018 and halve the smoking rate in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, where it is significantly higher.”
Minister Ley said some people have limited success by going ‘cold turkey’, and should consider some of the products available to help them break the smoking habit.
“Nicotine replacement therapy can reduce the withdrawal symptoms and give people a better chance of sticking to their quit pledge. Subsidised nicotine patches and prescription medications are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, so talk to your doctor about what approach may work best for you,” Minister Ley said.
“The Quitline telephone service provides a free, confidential and individually tailored service and is available from anywhere in Australia by calling 13 7848. There’s also the My QuitBuddy mobile phone app, which supports and tracks your quit progress to help you stay smoke-free.
“Also, if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant the Quit for you, Quit for Two mobile phone app provides support and encouragement to help you give up smoking. Both of these phone apps are available free through the Quitnow website.
“By simply changing the routines that remind you of smoking you can have a big impact on your health. So think about ditching the lighters and ashtrays, choose smoke-free activities with friends, get some exercise and drink more water to distract you from the cravings.
“Every cigarette you don’t smoke is improving your health.”
For more information about how to quit smoking for good, go to www.quitnow.gov.au.