EXTRA help is rolling out across the city to bring down Ballarat’s above-average smoking rates.
In a bid to better support more people to butt out, Quit Victoria led a new training workshop for pharmacists in Ballarat this week.
Latest data shows almost one in four adults in the Wendouree-Miners Rest area are smokers with about one in five adults taking a drag regularly in Ballarat South-Delacombe, according to Australian Health Policy Collaboration’s national health tracker.
In central Ballarat, Buninyong, Alfredton and Smythes Creek, the adult smoking rate is 13.6 per cent while further out in the Grampians, in the Ararat-St Arnaud-Stawell region, the rate is 22.6 per cent.
The national daily smoking rate is 12.8 per cent, according to Quit, while the Victorian average is 11.9 per cent among adults.
Quit Victoria director Sarah White said 80 per cent of smokers want to kick their deadly addiction but fewer than one in five use proven therapies that help people quit.
Dr White said pharmacists were in an ideal position to give smokers the practical information they need to quit for good.
“With pharmacists being so highly respected in the community, they could play an even bigger role in helping smokers,” Dr Whiter said.
Training, hosted in partnership with Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, equipped Ballarat pharmacists in how to better make an smoking intervention and in offering a higher level of support for customers.
Pharmacists were run through the latest methods and advice, from nicotine dependence and appropriate pharmacotherapies (like nicotine replacement) to holistic support services, like Quitline.
Ballarat Community Health drug and alcohol nurse Brett Valance told The Courier in May cigarette smoking across the city was on the decline but it was important people know what services and products were available to help them find the right fit and know how to best use them for best effects.
Mr Valance said often it took multiple attempts for smokers to quit. He said education, rather than cigarette alternatives, was the key to changing habits.
BCH also offers free smoking cessation clinics and one-on-one counselling support.
Quit Victoria’s website also has advice for those helping a loved one to quit smoking: quit.org.au
- Quitline 13 78 48
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