Building upon almost 30 years of investment in tobacco control, VicHealth will continue to advocate for a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach by federal, state and local governments and non-government organisations.

This approach should include a combination of whole-of-population interventions and targeted action designed specifically for populations where tobacco use is highest, including those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage, Aboriginal people, people experiencing homelessness, people with a mental illness and people with a drug and/or alcohol use disorder.

VicHealth supports a range of coordinated and mutually reinforcing interventions to reduce uptake, reduce harm and encourage and support quitting. To achieve these goals, ongoing action is needed across the following areas:

No smoking sign
  • Create and support smoke-free outdoor areas including all sports grounds and all outdoor dining areas.
  • Prevent tobacco use in young people through the introduction of smoke-free environments, restricting access to and supply of tobacco products, reducing product appeal, and the use of digital and mass media.
  • Reduce product appeal through plain packaging, graphic health warnings, mass media and social media campaigns, and education.
  • Help smokers quit through research, quit smoking services and other preventive activity such as plain packaging, graphic health warnings and education.
  • Research the potential of harm reduction strategies for those smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit to further reduce the harms from tobacco.

The long-standing partnership between the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Quit Victoria, non-government organisations and VicHealth has contributed to significantly reduced rates of smoking in Victoria, dropping from 21.2 per cent in 1998 to an all-time low of 13.3 per cent in 2012 (Bain, Durkin & Wakefield 2013).

VicHealth remains committed to supporting integrated tobacco control activity in Victoria, particularly in the areas of advocacy and knowledge, health education and reducing tobacco related health disparities while also exploring new ways to reduce the harm from tobacco. This will contribute to fewer people taking up smoking, more people quitting and ensuring additional help is provided for those who find it hardest to quit.

Bain E, Durkin S & Wakefield M 2013, Smoking prevalence and consumption in Victoria: key findings from the 1998–2012 population surveys. CBRC Research Paper Series no. 44, Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne.

Quit Partnership

VicHealth is a major funder of Quit Victoria and through this investment we support tobacco control activity to reduce smoking prevalence.

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