Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is encouraging smokers to make a quit smoking attempt as one of their new year’s resolutions.
Not only are there direct health benefits to quitting, there are benefits to the hip pocket. A packet a day smoker spends approximately $21 a day which is $630 a month or $7665 a year.
WSLHD Centre for Population Health deputy director Christine Newman explained in western Sydney 14.3* per cent of the population smokes which is a concern as smoking is the leading cause of disease and premature death.
“There has been an overall decline in the number of people smoking which is great, but there are still some community groups and areas in western Sydney with much higher rates.”
Ms Newman said support for smokers wanting to quit was critical, as butting out for good often takes several attempts.
“It can take a few tries before people quit for good but just taking small steps can make a huge difference – start by not smoking in the car or home, or cutting out in the morning and build slowly to quitting.
“Getting individual or group support is critical – we know people have a much greater chance of quitting smoking if they contact NSW Quitline, undertake individual counselling or attend a quit smoking group.
“Adding a nicotine replacement product or medication, both subsidised with a script from your GP will increase your chances of quitting and staying quit even more.
“There are many health benefits of quitting – after just 20 minutes without a cigarette your heart rate decreases; after two weeks, the risk of heart attack begins to reduce and after a year, your risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by half.
“If you’ve been thinking about giving cigarettes the flick, with the start of a new year, now is the perfect time to do so,” Ms Newman said.
For support to quit smoking visit www.icanquit.com.au or call the NSW Quitline on 137 848. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can ask for an Aboriginal Counsellor.
Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese speakers can ask for bi-lingual counsellors.
*Source: HealthStats: 2016