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Quitline calls reach 13 year peak

Monday 7 January, 2002

Calls to the Quitline in Victoria last year reached the highest level for more than a decade according to figures released today by Quit Victoria.

In 2001, there were almost 28,000 calls to the Quitline - the highest number of calls recorded since 1988, and for last year calls were up 25% compared to 2000.

Quit Victoria Executive Director Todd Harper says the tremendous response is partially due to the new television advertising campaign targeting parents launched in August 2001. The State Government contributed $2 million towards this campaign.

""There's no doubt that the response to our latest campaign is partially responsible for the increase in calls to the Quitline.

Mr Harper said the data highlights the benefit of higher levels of funding for Quit advertising campaigns.

""We've had very positive feedback about the campaign from smokers and we are optimistic the State Government will continue to fund these campaigns at such a level.""

""In only a few months after the campaign’s launch in August, the Quitline had registered 10,000 calls.""

""We know most smokers want to quit and advertising is a very effective way of encouraging smokers to take the steps to do that.""

Mr Harper said going 'cold turkey’ – with or without some other kind of support – is the most common quit method, however using the free Quitline service was a better approach.

""Accessing some support from the Quitline, a general practitioner, pharmacist or other health professional will improve your prospects of quitting.""

""I’d encourage anyone thinking of quitting to call the Quitline and take advantage of the expertise of Quitline’s trained staff, and get hold of the free resources available.""

Research by the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria shows that three quarters of Victoria’s smokers have tried to quit, and 40% of smokers have tried to quit in the past year.

""Quitting isn’t easy, but it’s important for smokers to remember that help and support is available through the Quitline,"" Mr Harper said.

Background information Quitline – 131 848

The Quitline is a telephone service available in all states and territories that offers free advice and resources on quitting. Quitline’s trained advisors have helped thousands of Australians to quit. The Quitline provides support, advice and information on a range of researched smoking cessation products and methods, including nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patches, gum and inhaler), the non nicotine tablet, and quit smoking courses. In Victoria the Quitline offers a free callback service to help smokers through the quitting process. Anyone in Victoria can call the Quitline for just the cost of a local call (mobile phone charges apply).

When people call the Quitline they can

  • ask to be sent a Quit pack – the pack contains free resources and information; or
  • ask to speak to an advisor

-ends-

Further information:

Zoe Furman
Media Communications Manager
Quit Victoria

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