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2004 WNTD - Quit and Save

Friday 14 May, 2004

DON'T PAY THE PRICE OF SMOKING – QUIT AND SAVE

Quit smoking on World No Tobacco Day, May 31, this year and you could save enough for an interstate holiday or a new stereo by the end of the year. With World No Tobacco Day fast approaching, Quit Victoria says stubbing out the smokes for good will not only save you money, but also your health.

'Quit and Save' is this year’s theme for World No Tobacco Day, and Quit Victoria’s Deputy Director Suzanne Stillman says quitting could put plenty of extra money in your pocket every year. If that’s not enough incentive to quit, then Ms Stillman says that within a year of quitting, a smoker’s increased risk of dying from a heart attack is almost half that of someone who continues to smoke.

""Anyone who smokes will appreciate what an expensive habit it is – from a money and health perspective. On World No Tobacco Day this year, we’re  encouraging smokers to think about what smoking costs them, and consider making May 31 their day to quit.""

Ms Stillman says the benefits of quitting start almost immediately; within just a few days, a smoker’s sense of taste and smell returns, and the longer you stay quit the more the health benefits – and dollars – stack up.

Ms Stillman says to fit in with this year’s theme of 'Quit and save’, Quit has put together a special World No Tobacco Day Quit Pack, which is available free by calling the Quitline on 131 848. The  Quit and Save’ pack includes a book which gives smokers simple, practical advice through the stages of quitting, from making the decision to quit to dealing with withdrawal symptoms and handling temptations.

""To help smokers count the savings, the pack also includes a money box, and wheel that shows what you could buy with the money you’ve saved by quitting. For example, stay off the smokes for a week and you can afford to buy a couple of CD’s, and after three months you’ll have saved enough for a digital camera,"" she says.

A special calculator which can estimate how much a smoker has spent in their lifetime on cigarettes is also available on Quit’s website at www.quit.org.au.

Ms Stillman says every year on May 31 the World Health Organization promotes World No Tobacco Day which  is acknowledged around the globe to raise awareness of the devastating toll of smoking.

“Smoking still kills over 19,000 Australians each year – it’s the leading cause of preventable deaths. More Australians die because of smoking than from car accidents, suicide and illicit drug use combined. In Victoria, smoking kills over 4500 people a year– that’s 13 Victorians every day .”

Ms Stillman says smokers who would like to stop counting the cost of smoking and start saving now should call the Quitline for their free  Quit and Save’ Quit Pack, and start planning to make May 31 their day to quit.

-ends-

Further information:
Zoe Furman
Media Communications Manager

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