A HEALTHIER lifestyle isn’t the only reason Annette Robey and Matthew Halloway decided to quit smoking.
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The effects of higher cigarette prices and a growing list of venues where smoking is banned is prompting more people to beat their addiction because it’s become too costly and inconvenient.
It was behind the decision of the two Central Western Daily advertising representatives to embark on one of the most difficult things they’ve done - kicking the habit of a lifetime.
Ms Robey has been a smoker for 30 years.
Prior to quitting three weeks ago, she was smoking over half a packet a day at a cost each month of $300.
“When I started smoking I was young and it was cool to do, it was accepted and you could do it anywhere,” she said.
“Now there’s only a few places you’re actually allowed to smoke and even then you feel like an outcast and embarrassed.
“I decided to quit because of my health but also because of the money.
“Three hundred dollars a month will easily pay off my credit cards.”
A recent tax hike by the Rudd government added between $2 and $3 to the average cost of a packet of cigarettes.
The hike is projected to reduce the number of smokers by about 87,000.
Research has found three out of four smokers would try to quit if the price of a packet hit $20.
“A week after I quit I saw a pack of what I used to smoke, which cost $13.80, could go up to $20 and I thought to myself thank god I don’t need to fork that out anymore,” Mr Halloway said yesterday.
“I know I’ve made the right decision.”
Aside from the cost of lighting up, smoking is becoming more problematic from a practical perspective.
Orange City Council wants to ban smoking in the entire central business district and within 70 metres of the hundreds of council owned buildings, car parks, sportsgrounds and parks.
Smokers breaching the ban would be fined $110.
Smoking rates have been in a sustained decline since 1983 after the first major government-funded tobacco education campaigns began.
However tobacco use continues to be the single greatest cause of preventable death and illness in the country.
“We have among the lowest smoking rates in the world and we also have the strongest tobacco control,” said the NSW Cancer Council’s western regional regional manager Anella Powell.
“We’re seeing smoking rates continue to decline as a result of all these strategies.”
The amount of money a pack-a-day smoker spends on cigarettes each year.
The number of weeks it takes for a smoker’s heart attack risk to reduce after quitting.
The percentage of Australian men who smoked in 1945.
The percentage of Australian men who smoke on a daily basis in 2007.
The amount of money the Rudd government’s tobacco tax hike will generate over four years.
The average increase to the price of a packet of cigarettes after the latest tax hike.
The number of cancer causing substances tobacco smoke contains.
The number of new worldwide cases of lung cancer each year, 80 per cent of which is caused by tobacco smoking.
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