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  • Greater Aboriginal support from the NT Quitline

    30 May 2014

    With World No Tobacco Day approaching this weekend, Cancer Council SA is launching a new campaign to address the high proportion of smokers in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and the support that is available via the Northern Territory Quitline.

    The latest data indicates that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more than twice as likely as the non-Aboriginal population to be daily smokers.

    This includes taking up smoking at an earlier age, smoking for longer, and making fewer quitting attempts than the broader Australian population.

    The 2012-2013 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey indicated that tobacco use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is high with approximately 50.5% across the Northern Territory (NT) reporting smoking.

    In February 2014, the Federal Government provided funds for an Aboriginal enhancement campaign for Quitline in the NT.

    The enhancement program will engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the NT through radio advertisements to encourage the use of the Quitline as a support service to quit smoking. In the initial phase of the project, the program will focus on Alice Springs, Katherine and Darwin.

    Aboriginal counsellors are working full-time on the Quitline and have identified how to tailor the Quitline service for Aboriginal people.

    Cancer Council SA was last year successful in winning the contract to provide Quitline services to the Northern Territory.

    Cancer Council SA, Chief Executive, Professor Brenda Wilson, said it was essential to raise more awareness about the services provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the Quitline.

    “Statistics indicate that smokers utilising the Quitline are twice as likely to successfully quit,” Professor Wilson said.

    “Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Prevention Team are committed to supporting Aboriginal communities here in the NT to address the prevalence of smoking.  The Quitline has qualified aboriginal counsellors, as a vital resource for all smokers.

    “We urgently need to get the message through about the dangers of smoking and this new campaign will play a vital role in reaching communities and informing people about the quit smoking support that is a phone call away.”

    The campaign
    The campaign consists of 60 second commercials which feature Jeremy Zimran on guitar and Stewart Gaykamangu’s vocals, in an original ‘Desert Reggae’ style song which includes positive health, social and financial messages interspersed with dialogue of people calling the Quitline.
    The 3x60second audio are themed:

    Footy – focusing on health and sports fitness
    Male – focusing on health and the financial gain to be make
    Female – focusing on health and social/family benefits for offspring and careers alike.

    The campaign will be evaluated via a pre-post survey assessing awareness of Quitline and likelihood of contacting Quitline in addition to recall of the campaign.

    Anyone wanting advice on how to quit smoking should call the Quitline on 13 7848.

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