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Time to quit? Over 4 out of 5 smokers not happy to keep smoking

Wednesday 3 January, 2007

3 January 2007

An overwhelming 84% of current smokers are not happy to keep smoking, according to new figures released today.

The data, from The Cancer Council Victoria, revealed that just 11% of current smokers were happy to keep smoking for the rest of their lives.

Executive Director of Quit, Mr Todd Harper, said the astonishing figures gave a glimpse into the addictive nature of cigarettes and also the persuasive powers of the tobacco industry.

"That so many smokers are unhappy to continue smoking illustrates not only how addictive cigarettes are, but also how adept the tobacco industry have become at making it hard for smokers to quit."

"We need to be doing all that we can to help people to quit and this means restricting the ability of the tobacco industry to market their deadly product."

My Harper pointed to packaging on cigarettes and tobacco displays at point of sale as two major areas where progress could be made to shut down tobacco marketing - and help those smokers thinking about quitting to do so successfully.

"The only way to stamp out aggressive tobacco industry tactics, using the pack as the primary method of promoting their deadly product, is to force the tobacco industry to adopt plain packaging."

"Along with the removal of the tobacco products currently displayed at the point of sale, often in venues frequented by children, a move to plain packaging would be a significant step forward in reducing the exposure of both smokers and non-smokers to tobacco marketing."

Mr Harper said the beginning of a new year is ideal time for smokers unhappy to keep smoking to think about quitting.

"The start of the year is a time when quitting is at the forefront of many smokers minds, and to increase the chances of quitting for good the best time to start planning is now."

"Quitting smoking is perhaps the most important thing a person can do for their health, and I think for many people a new year is the most natural time to try adapting this significant lifestyle change to their normal routine."

Mr Harper said the Quitline would work hard throughout the holiday season to ensure help is on hand to provide support and guidance to all those smokers who want to enjoy a smokefree 2007.

Visit the Quit website.

Todd Harper is available for comment on 03 9635 5522 or 0417 561 412

Further information: Edwina Vellar, Media Manager

Ph: (03) 9635 5400
Mobile: 0417 303 811