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  • Make a life-saving New Year’s resolution

    31 December 2013

    Cancer Council SA is urging South Australians to identify a healthy lifestyle activity and make it a priority this New Year and reduce the risk of cancer.

    With New Year’s resolutions on people’s minds in the coming days, Cancer Council SA is encouraging people to quit smoking, stay active and maintain a healthy diet.

    Recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicated that the majority of adult Australians still do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity.

    National activity guidelines recommend adult Australians undertake at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week over five or more separate sessions; alarmingly, under half (43 per cent) of Australians meet these guidelines.

    Of most concern is the fact that South Australia (38.8 per cent) comes second to last in the rankings of meeting the national physical guidelines, above only the Northern Territory.

    Cancer Council SA Chief Executive, Professor Brenda Wilson, said that it is an ideal time of year to make some life-changing decisions with a variety of healthy choices available.

    “Studies show that being overweight, physically inactive and not eating well causes up to one-third of all cancers,” Professor Wilson said.

    “Through healthy eating and exercising individuals can maintain a healthy body weight and reduce their risk of cancer.

    “Recent data indicates that people, particularly here in South Australia, need to engage in more physical activity, eat more fruit and vegetables and reduce their consumption of fast food including sugar sweetened beverages - there is no better time than the new year to set some goals and get active.

    “We also encourage smokers to take this opportunity to make 2014 the year to quit smoking.  

    “Smoking kills one in two long term users which is why it’s so important to encourage smokers to quit and also deter young people from taking up the deadly habit.”

    Manager of Quitline at Cancer Council SA, Dr Terry Evans, said that it is never too late for people to give up smoking.

    “It may be one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but cutting down or quitting smoking will improve your health dramatically,” Dr Evans said.

    “We have found that calls to the Quitline double in January compared to December as people who smoke make the resolution to quit and seek assistance.

    “Independent research indicates that people who use the Quitline are twice as likely to succeed with their quit attempts.

    “It’s never too late to give up smoking and with the latest tax increase from 1 December, it is becoming an increasingly expensive habit.”

    With an average packet of cigarettes now costing over $20; a pack a day smoker spends in excess of $7,000 a year on smoking.

    To cut your cancer risk visit www.cancersa.org.au or receive advice on how to quit smoking through the Quitline on 13 7848.

    Tips for quitting successfully:
    1. Be committed ... 100%
    2. Avoid having a single puff ... but, if you do, don’t dismay, get back on track straight away.
    3. Practice mindfulness to manage the urge to have a cigarette.
    4. Avoid situations that make it hard to not smoke ... especially in the first 2 weeks.
    5. Call the Quitline 13 7848

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