Quit Victoria have called on parents to quit smoking on World No Tobacco Day, ensuring their children have a better shot at a smokefree future.
Executive Director of Quit, Mr Todd Harper, said encouraging parents to quit smoking now would result in fewer young people taking up the habit in the future, as evidence suggests children whose parents quit are more likely to stay non-smokers.
'If parents can quit when their children are young, then the children are less likely to become smokers in adolescence,' said Mr Harper.
'Research indicates that by quitting, parents can reduce the likelihood of their children becoming smokers by around 40%.'
Mr Harper said the recent Commonwealth Government budget commitment to fund a new tobacco campaign, provided a valuable opportunity communicate a quit smoking message to parents which could also result in sizable reductions in smoking amongst young people.
'By investing in a public health campaign that motivates parents and prospective parents to quit, we could see a considerable decrease in the number of children smoking creating a two for one effect – with few adults and fewer kids smoking.'
Keeping with the theme of this year's World No Tobacco Day, Mr Harper said health professionals pay a pivotal role in helping parents quit.
'Everyday health professionals deal with parents, so they have a fundamental role to play when it comes to helping those that smoke to quit.'
'Health professionals have an opportunity to motivate smokers and change their behaviour by offering encouragement, advice and guidance related to effects of smoking and benefits of quitting.'
'By discussing with parents, and other smokers, the benefits of quitting smoking, health professionals are fulfilling a duty of care to inform their patients about the importance of quitting not just for their own health, but the health of their children.'
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