Stepping up in the fight against tobacco

TAKING THE PLEDGE: Lyndon Community workers (clockwise from left) Michelle Campbell, Karina Falconer, Wendy Tynan, Josh Snowden, Donna Picker, Karen Wilson and Maree Keen hold their pledge certificates while Cancer Council representatives Bree Kelly (front left) and Fiona Markwick (front right) look on.  Photo: STEVE GOSCH                                                  0526pledge1

TAKING THE PLEDGE: Lyndon Community workers (clockwise from left) Michelle Campbell, Karina Falconer, Wendy Tynan, Josh Snowden, Donna Picker, Karen Wilson and Maree Keen hold their pledge certificates while Cancer Council representatives Bree Kelly (front left) and Fiona Markwick (front right) look on. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0526pledge1

WORLD No Tobacco Day today is an opportunity for the Cancer Council staff to tell the community it is pushing to have outlets where cigarettes are sold to be licensed. 

Orange-based community programs co-ordinator Fiona Markwick  workshopped the issue with drug and alcohol workers at Lyndon withdrawal unit in Orange saying the Cancer Council is campaigning to make the government think twice about the accessibility of cigarettes, particularly to young people.

“Cigarettes are sold out of shops and at garages which are often quite close to schools,” Ms Markwick said.

During the workshop Lyndon workers signed a Cancer Council pledge to stop smoking.

Cancer Council staff  say in New South Wales 16 per cent of people smoke made up of slightly fewer women than men.

Ms Markwick says the Cancer Council staff are recommending to the NSW Ministry of Health that a taskforce be formed under the auspices of the minister’s office to advise on policies for tobacco retail reform that will most effectively accelerate declines in smoking.

“Addressing the retail availability of tobacco in NSW could accelerate declines in smoking prevalence, support people more effectively to quit smoking promote health in socially disadvantaged areas and protect children from tobacco,” she said.

The catch cry for this year’s World No Tobacco Day campaign by the Cancer Council is Selling Tobacco Anywhere, Anytime - Harmful not Helpful .

With the Cancer Council staff saying the greater the availability of tobacco, the more people will smoke.

The Cancer Council staff have reviewed the relationship between the retail environment and smoking behaviour and found strong evidence that high retail density and widespread distribution contribute to smoking.

To see more details of the full study carried out by Cancer Council representatives and if you would like support and information about quitting smoking go to cancercouncil.com.au or find the organisation on Facebook or Twitter.

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