With figures showing 58 per cent of indigenous Gippslanders smoke, Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, has called for the local community to band together to help reduce the alarming rate.
While addressing the audience at today’s World No Tobacco Day event in Bairnsdale, organised by the Gippsland Tobacco Action and Healthy Lifestyle Team, Mr Bull said lowering the indigenous smoking rate in Gippsland could significantly help improve health outcomes within the local Aboriginal community.
“When I was growing up, smoking was the cool thing to do and I specifically remember television advertising for things like the Marlborough Man on horseback portraying smoking as cool, but as we know, smoking is not cool,” he said.
“We have come a long way now and it is well known that smoking leads to numerous poor health outcomes such as cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer, among other potential long-term effects.”
Mr Bull said given the indigenous smoking rate Australia wide was around 40 per cent, Gippsland’s rate of 58 per cent – almost six in 10 – was alarming.
“It remains a problem in society in general, but this figure for our Aboriginal community is massively high,” he said.
“We are all here today with a common goal in mind to quit smoking, and where possible prevent it from occurring in the first place particularly in our younger communities, but this cannot be another forum we leave and not do anything about the issue at hand.
“The Gippsland Tobacco Action and Healthy Lifestyle Team does a great job here in Gippsland and has seen some positive results in the past, but there is a long way to go and it requires a full effort from the entire community.”
Mr Bull said he was pleased to see the event well supported among the indigenous community and congratulated the federally funded Gippsland Tobacco Action and Healthy Lifestyle Team on its work.
Caption: Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, and Regional Tackling Indigenous Smoking Coordinator, Paul Patten, of the Gippsland Tobacco Action and Healthy Lifestyle Team, at today’s World No Tobacco Day event in Bairnsdale.
Thursday, May 31, 2018