HEALTH

Quitting Smoking For A Month Could Help You Drop The Habit For Good

Time to butt out.

13/09/2016 9:48 AM AEST | Updated 13/09/2016 3:04 PM AEST
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Research showing that if you quit smoking for one month you'll be five to eight times more likely to quit for life has become the centre of a new quit campaign aimed at getting people to butt out this October.

Quit4October -- championed by the Lung Foundation Australia -- is encouraging smokers to give up the darts for four weeks, and to encourage smokers to develop a personalised quit plan with a healthcare professional.

"People who quit for four weeks are five to eight times more likely to remain permanent ex-smokers," said Dr Colin Mendelsohn, a Tobacco Treatment Specialist and Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales.

"So if people can be supported for that time and get to the end of the month, they have a very good chance of continuing to be a non-smoker."

And in case you were wondering if there's an art to quitting, there is. Sort of.

An art installation in the form of human lungs that can hold up to 1500 cigarettes has been erected in Darling Harbour.

Those who pledge to quit smoking put their cigarette into a slot on one of the lungs.

Supplied

"Smoking is a very powerful addiction, and nicotine takes control of your brain. It just needs time to unlearn the smoking habits so nicotine can release its hold on the brain," Mendelsohn said.

"Over time it gets easier and easier."

  • 14.7 percent of adults aged 18 years and over smoked daily (approximately 2.6 million smokers), decreasing from 16.1 percent in 2011-2012
  • 16.9 percent of males and 12.1 percent of women smoked daily
  • 16.3 percent of 18-44 year olds smoked daily;
  • 12.7 percent of adults aged 45 years and over smoked daily;
  • 31.4 percent were ex-smokers;
  • 52.6 percent had never smoked;
  • People living in Outer Regional and Remote areas of Australia had higher rates of daily smoking at 20.9 percent compared to people in Inner Regional areas at 16.7 percent and Major Cities at 13.0 percent
  • 21.4 percent of people living in areas of most disadvantage smoked daily compared with 8.0 percent who live in areas of least disadvantage
Source: The Department of Health

Smoking kills an estimated 15,000 Australians each year and costs Australia $31.5 billion in social (including health) and economic costs, the federal government says.

Australian federal, state and territory governments have committed to reduce the national adult daily smoking rate to 10 percent and halve the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult daily smoking rate from 47 percent by 2018.

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