Pregnant women and indigenous Australians are being targeted in a new anti-smoking campaign, which comes a month before all cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging.
“Out for you, Quit for me” ads highlight the dangers of smoking during pregnancy.
Federal Health Minister Tatyana Plibersek said that the campaign is designed to support women, not shame them into leaving.
”Education and support the best way forward to help people give up. We know that tobacco is a very strong relationship,” Ms Plibersek said. ” I am sure that the majority of women who smoke while they are pregnant want to give up.”
The ”Quit for You, Quit for Two” advertisements on television, radio, print and social media will highlight the dangers of smoking during pregnancy, and point to new smart phone apps.
Other posts aimed at indigenous communities and the general public.
The campaign has been hailed as lifeguards at Cancer Council Australia CEO Ian Oliver.
”Tobacco Control is the best thing we can do for cancer control,” he said.
”It’s very important not to punish people for addiction, but to help them to give up.”
Government figures show smoking kills about 15,000 Australians each year and costs the country $ 31.5 billion a year.
The Government has pledged to bring national smoking rates to 10% by 2018.
Professor Oliver said tobacco taxes and plain packaging should play an important role, but it is also worth to remind the public about the health benefits of quitting.
” The first repair is actually all day, because the lining of the lungs begin to repair itself,” he said.
” Then, over time, there are slower processes of repair and it can take years or decades to return to normal, but every day you stop takes you closer.”
Plain packaging for cigarettes will be mandatory from December 1.