Health promotion foundation VicHealth has welcomed Quit Victoria’s bold new manifesto for a tobacco-free Victoria, Target 2025.
The vision statement, released today, outlines Quit’s ambitious plan to reduce daily smoking rates in Victoria to five per cent by 2025.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said Target 2025 sets a clear vision for governments, health organisations and the community to come together to eliminate tobacco.
“Each year more than 4,400 Victorian families lose a loved one to smoking. These deaths are tragic and entirely preventable,” Ms Rechter said.
“Although Victoria enjoys one of the lowest smoking rates in the world, we can’t be complacent. We could be one of the first places in the world to reach a five percent smoking if we commit to action.
“Target 2025 calls for greater action to prevent young people from starting the habit, better support to help people quit and tougher action on Big Tobacco to halt their reach into our community.”
Ms Rechter said to make Target 2025 a success we need to have a focus on communities where smoking remains unacceptably high. This means, health organisations doing more to support disadvantaged groups of people to quit.
“We know that people facing disadvantage find it harder to quit, smoke for longer and are less likely to use evidence-based supports to help them quit,” she said.
“People from the lowest socio-economic areas are more than twice as likely to smoke regularly than people in the highest socio-economic areas.
“We also know smoking rates are higher among people living in regional areas and people who haven’t finished Year 12.
“Although we’ve been really successful in reducing the general population’s smoking rate we need to better understand how we can support disadvantaged communities to quit.
“If we are to truly achieve the vision set out in Target 2025 we need to tailor quitting support to give people who are disadvantaged the best chance of quitting and make sure our tobacco control initiatives don’t leave anyone behind.”
VicHealth spokespeople are available for comment. To arrange contact VicHealth Senior Media Advisor Rachel Murphy on 0435 761 732 or email [email protected]