Smokers urged to butt out

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph
Tobacco action officer Natalie Newie and health promotion officer Joanna Macleod.
Camera IconTobacco action officer Natalie Newie and health promotion officer Joanna Macleod. Credit: Sophia Constantine

Wirraka Maya Health Service hosted an open day last week to acknowledge and promote World No Tobacco Day.

Colourful banners made by schools, programs from Wirraka Maya and other community groups have been displayed at the health service to highlight the impact smoking has on individuals and families.

Wirraka Maya Tobacco Action officer Natalie Newie said the theme for this year’s event, Tobacco Breaks Hearts, was focused on raising awareness of cardiovascular diseases.

She said although the day aimed to encourage smokers to quit smoking for just 24 hours, there were a number of health services out there to help people stop for good.

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She said smoking was often forgotten about as a serious problem, and its prevalence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders remained high.

“It’s pushed aside because it’s not considered the main problem in families because they’re dealing with other issues,” Ms Newie said.

“But at the same time it is a big issue because it’s their health.

“That’s what we’re trying to turn around. That the smoking is doing the same damage as the other problems they’re having in their day-to-day lives.”

Ms Newie said the health service was focusing on providing educational workshops in schools.

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