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Cancer Council welcomes $3 million funding announcement to help Australians quit

Monday 31 May, 2021

Cancer Council Victoria has welcomed an investment of $3 million by the Australian Government today, World No Tobacco Day, to go towards a new national best practice support service for nicotine cessation to ensure GPs, pharmacists and Quitline counsellors have up-to-date evidence-based resources.

The funding will enable the development and dissemination of online training for health professionals to deliver best practice cessation care and support.

Todd Harper, CEO of Cancer Council Victoria, said despite much progress being made over many years, tobacco continues to be a leading cause of cancer and other diseases, with more work to be done to reduce smoking rates.

“We know that it is important that the people supporting those to quit smoking have access to the best information and support possible, which this funding will help to provide.”

Mr Harper said Cancer Council Victoria hosts the nationally recognised Quit program, which has been actively researching smoking cessation for close to four decades.

“Quit and Cancer Council Victoria developed the first Quitline in the world in 1985 and has been translating knowledge into practice on behalf of the Australian Quitline network since that time.”

Dr Sarah White, Director of Quit, said the funding would benefit Quitlines around Australia, which are anticipating an increase in calls and referrals to help people quit vaping.

“This funding will go towards the development of behavioural intervention counselling protocols for state and territory Quitlines to help people break free from nicotine addiction, whether that is from smoking or vaping. We’ll also ensure that Quitlines are gathering insights and feedback and providing those back to GPs and pharmacists, so all parties are working collaboratively to support people attempting to quit nicotine.”

World No Tobacco Day is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use.