Aboriginal community launches smoking safety message

Western Sydney Aboriginal community members have launched a new ‘Smoke-free home’ campaign to protect family members and children from breathing harmful passive smoke.

Launched at Mount Druitt Hospital Aboriginal Health Hub, the campaign was developed with local Aboriginal community members and health staff in Mount Druitt.

The message about smoking further away from the home is delivered in the form of a 45 second cartoon, and comes at an important time during COVID-19 with families spending more time at home.

Passive smoke comes from the end of a burning cigarette or is breathed out by a smoker. It is dangerous to breathe in passive smoke that can linger in the air. Children are at a higher risk of severe asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and middle ear infections from breathing in passive smoke.

Shana Mason from Mount Druitt, who helped design the campaign, said the message will resonate with the community.

“Aboriginal families are very protective of their kids and more people are smoking outside the home. However, there are still people who smoke too close and passive smoke gets back inside – they just don’t realise how much smoke gets in,” Shana said.

“It isn’t easy to quit smoking for a lot of people. The smoke-free home cartoon is a little story to remind smokers they can do one quick, easy thing: just move further away to smoke so that kids don’t have to breathe it in.”

It is important to move well away from the home or any open windows and doors to smoke. This will help prevent harmful smoke from drifting back into the home.

Community members may have seen the smoke-free home cartoon screened at local cinemas and in GP waiting rooms in Parramatta, Mount Druitt and Blacktown. It also featured on social media, posters on local public transport, and at local Aboriginal community centres.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/tlZ8hUMMkmo

For more information or to be involved in the campaign promotion, please contact Sarah Ip on 9840 3708 or Sarah.Ip@health.nsw.gov.au.

The NSW Government invests more than $17 million annually on tobacco control programs.

For information about how to quit smoking, call Quitline NSW on 13 7848.

WSLHD is committed to a range of initiatives to promote the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people, and is working towards a three percent Aboriginal employment target by 2025.