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Language no barrier for smokers who want to quit

Wednesday 4 February, 2004

A new campaign aimed at encouraging Victorians who want to quit to call the Quitline for help will begin in Melbourne this week. The campaign features a television advertisement which focuses on the difficulties faced by people who are trying to quit when they're in social situations.

Quit Victoria says the new campaign is an important opportunity to remind smokers from different cultural backgrounds that language need not be a barrier if they want to quit smoking.

Quit Victoria’s Multicultural Co-ordinator, Stavroula Zandes says the campaign’s advertisement shows a group of men in a pub. The situation causes one man who is trying to give up smoking to want to smoke. However, instead of giving in to his urge to have a cigarette, Tran calls the Quitline for support and advice on how to resist the urge to smoke.

""This situation will be very familiar to smokers, especially younger smokers. We hope the advertisement will also appeal to smokers from different cultural backgrounds, as in many cultures, smoking is often associated with social events and gatherings,"" Ms Zandes says.

Ms Zandes says that about one in five Australian adults are smokers, but anecdotal evidence suggests in a number of multicultural groups smoking rates are even higher than this, especially among men.

“21% of the Victorian population speaks a language other than English at home and so it’s not surprising that the Quitline receives a large number of callers from other cultural groups requesting information and advice about stopping smoking. That is why we have a range of services available in different languages .”

Ms Zandes says to cater for callers who would like help to quit in different languages, Quit has a range of resources and services available in languages other than English.

“The Quit books, which are available free by calling the Quitline are in 13 languages, including Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, Italian, Greek, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese, and these are mailed free of charge.”

'All you need to do is call the Quitline on 131 848 and request your free Quit book in one of these languages, or get online at  www.quit.org.au.' 

Ms Zandes says the Quitline also has advisers who understand the quitting process who can give support and advice over the phone.

“Some smokers find it helpful once they have received their Quit book to call back and speak to a Quitline adviser, and we are able to provide advice on stopping smoking in a range of languages.”

“We can arrange for one of Quit’s bilingual educators to provide advice on stopping smoking over the phone on quitting in languages including Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, Italian, Greek, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.”

Ms Zandes says Quitline uses the Translating and Interpreting Service to provide information and support over the phone in languages not spoken by Quit’s bilingual educators.

“So it doesn’t matter what language you speak, you can call the Quitline and get help to stop smoking.”

Ms Zandes says Quitline’s callback service can also be provided free in any language; this is where Quitline advisers call at a pre-arranged time, and help people through the first few weeks when they are stopping smoking.

For resources and support to stop smoking, call the Quitline on 131 848 or visit www.quit.org.au

ends

Stavroula Zandes is available for comment on (03) 9635 5530

Interviews can be arranged in a range of languages with Quit’s Multicultural Educators. Please call Stavroula Zandes on 9635 5530 if you would like to arrange an interview with one of the educators.

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