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Quit calls for the great Australian ‘smoko' to be renamed

Friday 12 June, 2009

Quit has called on fellow Australians to get behind a push to change the name of a work break from ‘smoko' to ‘quito,' saying the term no longer represents the habits of most Australians, and could act as a trigger for those trying to quit to have a cigarette.

Executive Director of Quit said with less than 1 in 5 Australian adults smoking, the term ‘smoko' no longer reflects the behaviour of the majority of Australian workers.

"A mid-morning or mid-afternoon break is an institution for Aussie workers and whilst we believe it's important to uphold that tradition, we don't see a need to keep referring to it as a ‘smoko.'"

"The term ‘smoko' should be relegated to the history books, where it will sit nicely amongst other old-fashioned terms like the ‘ladies lounge' and the ‘six o'clock swill'."

"By definition, calling a break a ‘smoko' may set the expectation that workers should use that time to have a cigarette. By changing the name to ‘quito' we can help those smokers who are trying to quit, or have recently quit, stay smoke-free."

Ms Sharkie said referring to breaks as ‘quitos' may encourage smokers who want to kick the habit to spend some time thinking about the best strategies to quit successfully.

"If taking a ‘smoko' reminds a smoker of smoking, then perhaps taking a ‘quito' will remind them of quitting and the best way to approach it."

"Changing the name would hopefully change the culture of smoking and elevate quitting as a priority, particularly for trade and outdoor workers who are often not protected by laws banning in enclosed workplaces."

According to Ms Sharkie, there are a lot of things a smoker who wants to quit can do during a short work break that will help with a quit attempt.

"A smoker could use a ‘quito' to call the Quitline and ask for a Quit Pack to be sent free of charge, or they could speak to one of our trained advisors who have had lots of experience in helping people quit."

Ms Sharkie said setting up some time to speak to a doctor or pharmacist was also a good also a good use of a ‘quito' saying health professionals are a good sources of advice about quitting, especially when it comes to the use of quit smoking medications.

The Quitline (13 QUIT) is a confidential telephone service providing information, support and advice for quitting. It is just the cost of a local call no matter where you are calling from in Australia. (Mobile phones excepted).