Working towards a smoke free lifestyle

Lynette Bishop, Leanne Stedman, Bonnie O’Shanassy (seated), Brendan Coulton, Lionel Dukakis, Carolyn Alkemade, Paul Patten, Therese Tierney. Front: Buddy Gordon and Chantelle Mobourne.

Lynette Bishop, Leanne Stedman, Bonnie O’Shanassy (seated), Brendan Coulton, Lionel Dukakis, Carolyn Alkemade, Paul Patten, Therese Tierney. Front: Buddy Gordon and Chantelle Mobourne.

The mission to help all Aboriginal people across Gippsland to be smoke free continued on Wednesday, June 1 with the launch of the Gippsland Tobacco Action and Healthy Lifestyle Team’s (GTAHLT) latest Waru Dyoorahba Noorwundyuk (We Quit Tobacco) Support Group.

A BBQ was held and a gathering in the Warrawee Room at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) to mark the launch of the latest round of the Support Group and to celebrate World No Tobacco Day.

BRHS is supporting the Waru Dyoorahba Noorwundyuk (We Quit Tobacco) Support Group by providing group members with access to quick-acting nicotine replacement therapies to support their quitting efforts.

According to the GTAHLT Coordinator, Leanne Stedman, “The combination of a slow-acting nicotine replacement therapy, such as a patch, with quick-acting nicotine replacement therapy, such as a gum or spray, greatly increases a person’s chances of a successful quit attempt”.

“However, the quick-acting nicotine replacement therapies are currently not available on the PBS and this can be a barrier for many people. Having BRHS support us in making these therapies available to our group members will be a great help to them and will help us deliver best practice support”.

BRHS Chief Executive Officer, Therese Tierney, said “BRHS is proud to be supporting a program that is going to benefit the Aboriginal community across the region and I know we will learn a lot from this program.”

The rate of smoking among Aboriginal people nationally is still very high at around 39 per cent and smoking rates in regional areas such as parts of Gippsland are even higher.

These high smoking rates are a major contributor to the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The four week Waru Dyoorahba Noorwundyuk (We Quit Tobacco) Support Group begins on Friday, June 3 at the East Bairnsdale Community Hub, 24 Hoddinott Street, East Bairnsdale and will run from 10am until 12.30pm each Friday.

Participants will learn about ways to make quitting smoking easier, including using medications, changing their environment, adjusting their routines and managing stress. To join the group, contact Tobacco Action Worker, Paul Patten on 5155 8465.