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Research shows smokefree pubs and clubs help smokers quit

Monday 31 December, 2001

As tens of thousands of Victorian smokers contemplate butting out on 1 January, new research has found that a ban on smoking in pubs, clubs, gambling venues and nightclubs would be one way to help them quit.

Quit Victoria says research shows that smokers are less likely to quit and more likely to increase the amount they smoke if they go to bars, nightclubs and gambling venues.

The research, by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, shows that smokers are more likely to smoke more in nightclubs, with a staggering 80% of smokers reporting they smoke more than normal when they're at nightclubs.

Over two thirds (67%) of smokers said they smoked more than normal at bars, and 37% reported smoking more than normal at gambling venues.

Quit Victoria Executive Director Todd Harper says the research shows that a total ban on smoking in pubs, bars, nightclubs and gambling venues would help smokers quit.

'Overall, a quarter of smokers who go to gambling venues, bars or nightclubs at least once a month say they would be more likely to quit if smoking was banned.'

'So a smoking ban in these venues would help save the health of smokers as well as protecting non smokers from the harms of passive smoking.'

The research shows a total smoking ban would be most likely to encourage those who attend nightclubs to quit, with 35% of those who go at least once a month saying they would be more likely to quit if smoking were banned.

For other venues, 27% of smokers who regularly go to bars said they would be more likely to quit if smoking were banned, and 15% of those who go to gambling venues at least monthly say a ban would be more likely to make them quit.

Mr Harper says the Quitline is prepared for a flood of calls from smokers seeking to kick their habit for New Year.

'New Year is the one time of the year when just about every smoker thinks of giving up smoking. Most smokers want to quit, and more smokers aim to quit at New Year than any other time,' he says.

'Getting the New Year off to a healthy start is as easy as calling the Quitline on 131 848.'

'To help smokers who want to quit we’ve developed a New Year Quit Pack which is free and available simply by calling the Quitline on 131 848. '

The New Year Quit Pack includes a 2002 Quit diary with a year’s supply of quit tips, as well as resources and information about quitting and special giveaways to help handle the difficult times.

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Summary of research findings from the study Attitudes and behaviour in relation to Environmental Tobacco Smoke in cafes, pubs, clubs, and gambling areas among Victorian adults by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria:

Of smokers who attend the following venues at least monthly:

  • 80% smoke more than normal in nightclubs
  • 67% smoke more than normal in bars
  • 37% of smokers smoke more than normal at gambling venues

Smokers likelihood of quitting if there was a total ban on smoking in nightclubs, bars and gambling areas:

  • 35% of those who go at least monthly to nightclubs more likely to quit
  • 27% of those who go at least monthly to bars more likely to quit
  • 15% of those who go at least monthly to gambling venues more likely to quit

Further information:

Zoe Furman
Media Communications Manager
Quit Victoria

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