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Quit Victoria welcomes Labor’s pledge to fight tobacco related health damage.

Thursday 16 September, 2004

Quit Victoria has welcomed Labor’s commitment to reducing tobacco caused illness by increasing funding for quit smoking programs by $21 million.

Executive Director Todd Harper said Labor’s promise to inject an extra $21 million into quit smoking programs and mass media campaigns would help reach the goal of a reduction in smoking rates to 15% by 2010.

""Mass media, particularly television, advertising, is the most effective way to encourage people to quit smoking,"" said Mr Harper.

“The success of sustained quit smoking campaigns internationally has proven that this form of intensive and targeted advertising can significantly reduce the proportions of Australians smoking.”

“The announcement of new funds for far-reaching mass media campaigns ensures all Australians, in both rural and metropolitan areas, will have the opportunity to receive the benefits of the quit smoking message.”

Mr Harper said the additional funds in tobacco control would mean a long-term saving for the Australian healthcare system of $1.14 billion.

“A study published recently in The Medical Journal of Australia* revealed a reduction in the proportion of Australians smoking by 5% (from 20% to 15%) could mean a 17% drop in cumulative PBS subsidies.”

“The savings in both the PBS and the long-term hospital and medical costs caused by smoking related diseases make Labor’s proposed investment in tobacco control a sensible economic move that will benefit the entire community”

“Smoking kills around 4700 people in Victoria each year, given this it is refreshing to see public health being put ahead of the profit-driven interests of big tobacco companies on the political agenda” said Mr Harper.

*Hurley, S et al, “The potential for tobacco control to reduce PBS  costs for smoking-related cardiovascular disease” (2004), in Medical Journal of Australia 181: 252-255.  http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/181_05_060904/contents_060904.html

ends

Further information: Edwina Vellar,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400        
mob: 0417 303 811       
email: edwina.vellar@cancervic.org.au

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