Thursday, December 16th, 2010
Every day there is another article published on the negative health effects of smoking, with more smoking bans imposed and just generally more talk that is isolating smokers from the community.

For the last 20 years all Australians have been bombarded with TV advertisements of smokers struggling to breath
or children crying in the streets all accompanied with dark voiceovers and scary background music.

With some 3 million smokers in Australia and more than 1 million of those about to try to quit this year,
I say it is time that we offered more positive support to smokers. Surely, as with everything in life, a more
balanced approach to reducing the number of smokers is needed.

The latest arsenal used by the anti-tobacco lobby is smoking bans in outdoor areas. This is being slowly taken up
by councils across Australia. Here is a classic example of the myopic thinking though from these lobbyists. If they read up on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control they would have read that offering support programs to smokers to help them quit will:
• “...encounter few political obstacles”
• “ the same time allow them enact new restrictions on tobacco.”
• “...This may also reduce opposition to other tobacco control policies”

In Canada, their Cancer Society and Quitlines run 2 campaigns annually that had some 48,000 smokers take part
earlier this year. They seem to be getting great results from their positive approach.

I believe that if councils ran positive campaigns that supported their own staff to quit smoking, for example and promoted these campaigns to their constituents, that opposition to their outdoor smoking bans could be reduced.

Why can't we have both the carrot and the stick?
This could get more individuals and organisations on board with a more collaborative approach to help smokers to quit their entrenched habit/addiction

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Quitober runs two positive awareness campaigns in Australia called the Quitober & QuitMay Challenges.

Next year in 2011 we will be running our first QuitMay Challenge camapign that coincides with World No Tobacco Day on May 31

This pilot event will be held at the Melbourne Docklands and is supported by the Docklands Chamber of Commerce and hopefully the City of Melbourne.
Des Sherlock
P: 0417712601


Quit smoking, smoking cessation, Tobacco, corporate wellness



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