Central Queensland smoking rate declines
15 November 2018
CQ Health’s 10,000 Lives Program has made an impact on the heath of Central Queenslanders, with a new report showing the local smoking rate had dropped to 14%.
The health of Queenslanders 2018 – Report of the Chief Health Officer Queensland was released this week, showing a drop from 17% of Central Queenslanders who smoked in the previous report in 2016.
CQ Health Chief Executive Steve Williamson said 25,000 adults smoked daily in Central Queensland, down from 29,000 in the previous report.
“This two-year reduction in the number of smokers will ultimately save the lives of 2,600 Central Queenslanders from a smoking-related death,” he said.
“I am incredibly proud of our team that has made a big impact on local smoking figures, but there is still a long way to go to reach the statewide rate of 11%. Ideally, we would like to be the first region in the state to become smoke-free. This is an ambitious target, but we’re passionate about making a difference.
“We all know that smoking is the leading cause of premature death and disease, increasing the risk of lung cancer, COPD and coronary heart disease.
“That is why we launched our 10,000 Lives project, aiming to save the lives of Central Queenslanders and to reduce hospital stays for our residents.”
Senior Project Officer for 10,000 Lives Caron Williams was delighted to see the project’s impact in the latest data, saying it had been an incredible team effort.
“We have had support from health professionals including GPs and pharmacists, our dental clinics and mental health services all referring smokers to Quitline to access three months’ free nicotine replacement therapy and tailored support,” she said.
“More and more people are becoming aware of the free tailored support service that is available to Central Queensland smokers, through Quitline on 13 78 48.
“Our clinicians are making it their business to ensure their patients understand the dangers of smoking and the risks to their health it causes.
“CQ Health’s youth health services are ensuring the next generation doesn’t start smoking, so it’s a real 360deg collective in Central Queensland, coming under the banner of 10,000 Lives,” Mrs Williams said.
A partnership with University of Queensland has enabled a PhD student to undertake a three-year research program to measure the project’s outcomes.