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Community-based organisations leading the way in prioritising reducing tobacco-related harm

Community health leaders reflect on the importance of reducing tobacco-related harm

Community-based organisations such as Community Health Services, local councils and local public health units play a pivotal role in reducing tobacco-related harm in their local communities. Here we showcase the perspectives of leaders of community-based organisations where action to reduce tobacco-related harm has been prioritised to understand why they have made this commitment.  

Operations Director, Community Health 

Peninsula Health

Tobacco usage remains the foremost contributor to disease and mortality rates in Australia, making it a critical focus for enhancing community health and well-being.  

Peninsula Health is dedicated to providing smoke-free healthcare services, firmly supported by our Smoke-Free Work Environment policy. This comprehensive approach encompasses creating a smoke-free atmosphere, addressing nicotine addiction through clinical management, and providing unwavering support to our dedicated staff and volunteers. 

Notably, Peninsula Health has successfully attained the Smoking priority status within the Healthy Workplace Achievement Program. We proudly belong to The Global Network for Tobacco-Free Healthcare Services, aligning our practices with its evidence-based standards. 

Our commitment to combating tobacco use extends to our innovative Smoke-Free PA System Project, which broadcasts anti-smoking messages at our entrances. A remarkable trial at Frankston's main entrance demonstrated a significant reduction in smoking and second-hand smoke exposure among patients, visitors, and staff, further bolstering our evidence-based approach. 

Peninsula Health's Health Promotion team actively collaborates with local government, sports clubs, and recreational facilities to expand smoke-free environments. For instance, our partnership with Mornington Peninsula Shire in the Smoke-Free Trial encompassed eight smoke-free sites across the Shire, garnering strong community support. Our continued collaboration aims to firmly establish the Shire's Smoke-Free Policy within the community. 

However, it's worth noting that the increasing popularity of E-cigarettes and vaping has presented new challenges, reminding us that there is still important work ahead in reducing tobacco-related harm. 

Manager Health Promotion and Partnerships, Monash Health

Monash Health

Tobacco is one of the largest causes of preventable illness and death in Australia. Reducing tobacco related harm is a key priority for health promotion agencies throughout Victoria.

Supported by Quit, and utilising statewide frameworks such as the Achievement Program and Monash Health's Healthy Sports Clubs framework, the health promotion team at Monash Health works with local settings to reduce smoking and vaping in the community. Last year we supported six early years settings and four sports clubs to progress or complete the Smoke Free areas of their relevant frameworks.

Our cross promotion of QuitVic social media messaging reached in excess of 60,000 community members, and our Monash Health iNews article reached approximately 18,000 Monash Health employees with valuable information about reducing tobacco related harm.

Our work with Monash Health's Smoke-free initiative continues to support development and delivery of important messaging and treatment options for reducing tobacco related harm in Monash Health patients, staff and visitors.

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