Charters Towers’ locals are being urged to seek support to quit smoking, with new stats showing the region’s daily smoking rates are 74 per cent higher than the overall Queensland rate.
The State Government has released findings from the Self-reported health status 2011-12, categorised by local government area.
The report found around 23 per cent of adults in Charters Towers smoke daily – the prevalence more than five times higher in adults aged 18-34 years than adults 55 years and over.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the results were alarming, and more locals needed support to quit smoking.
“Evidence shows that there are high levels of community support for smoking bans, and 80 per cent of adult smokers want to quit,” Ms Clift said.
“We have asked the State Government to step up and take action on smoking by establishing smoke free public places in State legislation.
“Latest estimates show the burden of smoking in Queensland costs more than $6 billion every year in health care, lost productivity, and premature death.
“Making public places in North Queensland smoke-free will protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke, and encourage established smokers to quit.
“It’s also important that individuals take steps to get the support they need to quit smoking.
“We encourage locals to call Quitline 13 7848 to get the best advice, resources and ongoing support to help them quit smoking for their long-term health, and the health of their family.”
It’s estimated around 3000 Queenslanders will die from a tobacco-related disease in 2013. About 300 of these deaths will be caused by second-hand smoke exposure.
Cancer Council Queensland believes statewide bans on smoking in public places are critical to protecting Queenslanders, especially young people, from the harmful effects of tobacco.
Smokers can obtain free information, practical assistance and support from Quitline, 13 QUIT (13 7848), or join the QUEST to quit at www.quest.org.au.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171
*Self-reported health status 2011-12, Health indicators: chronic disease and behavioural risk factors, Local government areas, Department of Health.