Aboriginal residents knock smoking out of the park

NSW Knockout Health Challenge Western Sydney team members Sherryn Hayek, Issy Hayek-Donovan, David Hunter, Sara Hayek-Donovan, Blake Smith-Tatafu, Leilani Smith with Robyn Taylor (third from right) from WentWest and pharmacist Margaret Ruhnau (far right).

Free nicotine replacement therapy was among the help being offered at the Western Sydney Knockout Health Challenge Quit Smoking Evening on Wednesday night.

The Challenge is a community-led healthy lifestyle and weight loss program for Aboriginal communities across NSW.

It aims to motivate Aboriginal people to manage lifestyle-related risk factors for chronic disease and reduce obesity through a weight loss competition and physical activity challenges.

The quit smoking event at Emerton Pharmacy on Wednesday was sponsored by Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).

The Western Sydney participants have already lost a combined 200 kilograms, six weeks into the 10-week challenge.

Participants met with pharmacists and the tobacco control team to assess their dependence on nicotine and get advice on how to make a quit-smoking attempt.

WSLHD Population Health tobacco program co-ordinator Kate Kennett said the group already has ‘amazing’ fitness stories.

“We are hoping that through this event, quitting smoking will also be part of their health journey,” Kate said.

“Even if you have smoked for many years, quitting will bring you many benefits. Stop smoking and let your body heal.”

We would like to pay our respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live, and also pay respect to Elders both past and present.