Rural and regional Victorians urged to go smokefree for 2017

Wednesday 4 January, 2017

Quit Victoria is encouraging rural and regional Victorians to butt out for a fresh start to 2017, as survey results show Victorians living outside Melbourne are more likely to smoke than those living in the metropolitan area.

The Victorian Population Health Survey* shows that overall, 13% of Victorians smoke daily or occasionally (current smokers).

More adults in rural and regional areas are current smokers (16%) compared to metropolitan Melbourne (12%).

Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White said a new year was a great time to make a fresh start, and encouraged rural and regional smokers to put quitting at the top of their agenda.

“It doesn’t matter if you didn’t quit smoking on January 1 – in fact, we recommend setting a quit date after the holiday period when people are back to work or the kids are back at school,” Dr White said.

“This gives people time to put strategies in place to avoid situations that trigger the urge to smoke, and set up some new and healthier routines for 2017.

“Making quitting a priority this January will bring immediate benefits for your health and the health of those around you, and will save a pack a day smoker more than $9000 a year. How great would it be to start 2018 with that kind of cash in your bank account?

“A great first step is to phone the Quitline and talk to a Specialist, who can provide personalised, non-judgemental coaching and advice on understanding your smoking triggers and setting up a tailored quitting plan.”

Dr White said quitting could be difficult for some smokers, but every attempt teaches people something about their addiction and habits and brings them closer to being a non-smoker.

“Not everyone succeeds the first, second, or even third time they try to quit but it’s important to give it another go. In most parts of Victoria there are more former smokers than current smokers, so we know that quitting smoking is absolutely do-able. It will also deliver massive benefits for your health and wealth.”

Dr White said it was unclear why smoking rates were higher in rural and regional Victoria than across metropolitan Melbourne.

“There are probably more opportunities for people in rural and regional areas to smoke, for example if they are working outdoors, compared to those working in the city,” Dr White said.

“In certain pockets of Victoria where smoking rates remain high, it could be that smoking has been part of the culture for a long time, making it more difficult for smokers to quit and more likely that teenagers will take up the habit.”

Tools available at www.quit.org.au can help people understand their smoking habits, choose the best way to quit and plan their quit attempt. Smokers can also phone the Quitline on 13 78 48 to get personalised, non-judgmental coaching and advice.

Contact: Kate Hagan, Media Manager, 0438 058 406

Smoking Rates by LGA Victoria

LGA

CURRENT SMOKER

EX-SMOKER

NON-SMOKER

Alpine

12.7%**

27.8%

58.9%

Ararat

22.1%

26.8%

50.6%

Ballarat

15.0%

25.7%

57.5%

Banyule

8.6%

23.8%

67.5%

Bass Coast

16.3%

36.8%

46.9%

Baw Baw

29.7%

19.4%

50.6%

Bayside

9.5%**

25.3%

65.1%

Benalla

14.6%

31.9%

52.9%

Boroondara

7.2%**

22.1%

70.7%

Brimbank

17.5%

19.3%

62.0%

Buloke

18.5%**

22.2%

58.8%

Campaspe

21.9%

23.2%

54.0%

Cardinia

18.4%

30.2%

51.2%

Casey

16.3%

25.2%

57.8%

Central Goldfields

20.8%

26.8%

52.3%

Colac Otway

13.6%**

20.8%

64.4%

Corangamite

10.9%

27.6%

61.4%

Darebin

12.1%**

26.3%

61.0%

East Gippsland

11.8%

28.0%

59.3%

Frankston

17.2%

26.1%

55.8%

Gannawarra

12.0%**

16.0%

71.8%

Glen Eira

18.2%

21.3%

60.2%

Glenelg

16.0%

22.9%

60.4%

Golden Plains

18.7%

26.7%

54.2%

Greater Bendigo

13.0%

22.2%

62.9%

Greater Dandenong

14.5%

18.3%

67.0%

Greater Geelong

12.2%

27.9%

59.1%

Greater Shepparton

12.9%

25.0%

62.0%

Hepburn

19.8%

22.8%

57.2%

Hindmarsh

17.2%

22.9%

59.3%

Hobsons Bay

11.8%

25.3%

61.9%

Horsham

9.2%

22.7%

67.5%

Hume

15.5%

23.9%

59.6%

Indigo

10.8%**

29.7%

59.4%

Kingston

13.9%

20.8%

64.3%

Knox

13.3%

23.3%

62.8%

Latrobe

24.4%

22.7%

52.1%

Loddon

23.0%

21.7%

55.0%

Macedon Ranges

8.0%

25.3%

66.1%

Manningham

8.8%**

20.9%

69.6%

Mansfield

29.2%

26.5%

43.9%

Maribyrnong

15.7%

21.5%

62.7%

Maroondah

13.4%

30.9%

55.5%

Melbourne

8.0%**

22.6%

69.1%

Melton

11.8%

25.6%

62.4%

Mildura

18.7%

23.8%

57.3%

Mitchell

12.2%

33.2%

54.0%

Moira

22.2%

25.8%

51.5%

Monash

10.8%

27.2%

62.0%

Moonee Valley

12.6%

23.7%

62.7%

Moorabool

15.6%

31.6%

52.7%

Moreland

15.1%

27.9%

56.9%

Mornington Peninsula

13.1%

30.5%

56.1%

Mount Alexander

10.6%

25.2%

63.6%

Moyne

12.6%

28.8%

58.2%

Murrindindi

24.4%

24.4%

50.2%

Nillumbik

10.7%

20.7%

67.8%

Northern Grampians

16.6%

26.0%

57.2%

Port Phillip

7.4%

32.9%

58.8%

Pyrenees

16.8%**

32.8%

49.8%

Queenscliffe

14.6%**

28.3%

56.4%

South Gippsland

10.4%

31.5%

57.9%

Southern Grampians

9.7%**

26.6%

63.1%

Stonnington

7.9%**

27.4%

64.5%

Strathbogie

13.6%

28.6%

57.3%

Surf Coast

10.0%

26.7%

62.0%

Swan Hill

15.1%

23.5%

60.9%

Towong

13.5%

27.9%

58.0%

Wangaratta

18.9%**

26.1%

54.9%

Warrnambool

9.7%**

23.4%

66.5%

Wellington

14.8%

26.4%

58.0%

West Wimmera

14.6%

26.4%

58.9%

Whitehorse

5.2%**

23.7%

69.8%

Whittlesea

15.1%

22.9%

61.7%

Wodonga

18.3%

25.6%

55.8%

Wyndham

13.1%

27.5%

58.6%

Yarra

14.3%

27.1%

58.0%

Yarra Ranges

8.9%

26.0%

64.9%

Yarriambiack

12.1%

27.4%

60.3%

ALL RURAL/REGIONAL

15.5%

25.9%

57.8%

VICTORIA

13.1%

24.8%

61.5%

 

Victorian Population Health Survey 2014

** Should be interpreted with caution

Quit Victoria is a partnership between VicHealth, Cancer Council Victoria, the State Government of Victoria and the Heart Foundation.