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  • Your support has saved lives from tobacco

    Your support has saved lives from tobacco
    05 August 2014

    Thank you. Every person we can assist to quit smoking – or deter from taking up the deadly habit – is potentially a life saved. Your support has ensured this work can continue.

    Tobacco kills around 20 South Australians every week and these are people who leave behind loved ones; friends and family, who indirectly also become victims of smoking.

    We’d like to say thank you to our supporters for their generosity. It’s because of you that Cancer Council SA continues to work tirelessly to educate people about the deadly consequences of smoking, and also highlight the support and assistance available to people wanting to quit. We are also able to advocate on key issues affecting the health of South Australians.

    Alfresco smoking banned
    It was thanks to the strong response from the community to our smoke-free alfresco drinking and dining campaign that we were able to pass on thousands of postcards addressed to the Premier from concerned South Australian residents (as pictured above).

    For this, we say “thank you” because we asked for your support to make it happen and you delivered. The Government has now committed to a ban on smoking in all outdoor dining areas from July 2016.

    No amount of exposure to cigarette smoke is safe and this measure will protect workers, diners outside of venues, as well as those inside. Our donors and volunteers should feel proud of this achievement. It’s only through your support that this was possible.

    Anti-tobacco advertising reinstated
    We also welcomed the government’s recent reinstatement of $1.12M funding for anti-smoking advertising for the next 12 months. The silence was deafening - in the absence of the anti-tobacco advertising between July 2013 and June 2014, Cancer Council’s Quitline saw a dramatic decrease in the number of people calling the Quitline for assistance.

    The removal of anti smoking advertising was followed by a 2.7% increase in the smoking rate, which is 39,258 more South Australians who were smoking a year after the advertising was removed.

    The evidence tells us that the investment of $1.12M anti tobacco advertising should result in 7,837 less South Australian smokers and 3,918 lives saved.

    Three weeks after the reinstatement of the advertising in July this year, the Quitline recorded a 13% increase in the volume of calls and a 38% increase in the number of people calling the Quitline and registering for ongoing help and support to quit. Evidence shows that people who use the Quitline to assist with their quitting attempt are twice as likely to be successful.

    On behalf of our supporters, Cancer Council SA lobbied the government strongly on these two actions that will now work alongside plain packaging and tobacco tax increases and save lives.

    The latest stats
    Key findings from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s recent 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey shows fewer Australians are smoking and less younger people are taking up the habit.

    This is a positive sign but at Cancer Council SA, we know our work is not done.

    While the national data is encouraging, as mentioned - South Australia’s smoking rate increased over the past 12 months, coinciding with the absence of anti-tobacco advertising. The effectiveness of the advertising in convincing people to quit is the reason we fought so hard to have it reinstated. Following these two achievements we look forward to seeing South Australia’s smoking rates move into line with the national trend.  

    We believe no one should lose a loved one to cancer – especially cancers we know how to prevent – and we will fight hard to reduce the harm smoking does in our community as it continues to be South Australia’s largest preventable cause of death and disease.

    Thank you for your ongoing support.

    Professor Brenda Wilson
    Chief Executive
    Cancer Council SA

    Anyone wanting advice on how to quit smoking could call the Cancer Council Quitline on 13 78 48 or visit www.quitsa.org.au.


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