Smokers urged to  Quit and be fit’ on World No Tobacco Day

Friday 31 May, 2002

Today is World No Tobacco Day, and smokers who quit today could be enjoying a better level of fitness by this time next week.

Quit Executive Director Todd Harper says research has found that quitting reaps almost instant rewards in physical performance; the results of one study found that quitting increased exercise capacity in as little as 7 days.

'Australians love their sport, but smoking has a big impact on fitness. It’s not surprising that research shows smokers are less likely to be physically active than non-smokers.'

'Many smokers may be avoiding the physical activity they’d like to be doing because their smoking is leaving them with less puff, so today on World No Tobacco Day we’re urging smokers to  quit and be fit.'

'The good news for smokers is that research has shown that exercise can actually help you quit. The results of one US study revealed that people who exercised were twice as likely to quit smoking and stay smokefree as those who didn’t.'

'It’s also been found that that exercise can actually help smokers deal with cravings - studies have found that craving can be less marked in people who exercise compared to people who don’t.'

Mr Harper says to tie in with World No Tobacco Day’s  Quit and be fit’ theme, a free World No Tobacco Day Quit pack available from the Quitline includes a gym voucher to the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, as well as other items to help smokers stay quit for good.

'When people quit smoking they often adopt other healthy behaviours, like regular exercise or healthy eating. So quitting can be the first step in developing a healthier lifestyle.'

'No matter how long you’ve been smoking, when you quit, you’ll feel the benefits straight away as your body starts to repair itself.'

Mr Harper says World No Tobacco Day is a popular time for smokers to think about quitting, and estimates that thousands of Victorian smokers will try to quit today.

'Setting a date to quit is an important part of a successful quit attempt, and I’d encourage any smoker thinking of quitting to call the Quitline on 131 848 and get a free World No Tobacco Day Quit pack.'

'Research shows over three quarters of smokers have tried to quit at least once, and the chances are that if you can quit for one day you can quit for good.

'I’d encourage anyone who wants to quit to think about going  smokefree’ even if it’s just for today, World No Tobacco Day.'

Facts on smoking in Victoria

  • there are around 750,000 adult smokers in Victoria
  • 23% of adult Victorian men and 18% of women are regular smokers
  • 75% of adult Victorian smokers have tried to quit smoking kills 13 Victorians every day; across Australia, about 50 people die every day from a smoking related illness.
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    Further information:

    Zoe Furman
    Media Communications Manager
    Quit Victoria