Lifestyle

Smoking rates still too high

SMOKING rates in rural and remote Australia are still "disturbingly high", but the Rural Doctors Association of Australia believes new plain packaging laws were "more than just smoke and mirrors".

While a Commonwealth victory against the tobacco industry in the High Court last week has not guaranteed laws to enforce plain packaging on tobacco, it has been the strongest indication yet the laws will succeed.

The tobacco industry, including cigarette giants Phillip Morris and British American Tobacco, still has two other cases pending in Australian courts against the plain packaging laws.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon was last week celebrating the victory, saying the new packaging would have the biggest impact on new smokers and young people.

"If you're already a smoker plain packaging will just be a further reminder of the health risks of smoking," she said.

"Really this measure is most likely to have its impact on those who are new smokers."

Ms Roxon said young people were attracted to smoking because of an image cultivated that smoking was "cool".

"Or they can think it's fun or they can think it's sexy," she said.

"It's actually to try to take away any image and stop the cigarette pack being a mobile billboard every time a smoker pulls it out of their pocket.

"While smoking tobacco was a problem across the board, the latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing showed it was still most prevalent among men, young people and those in rural, regional or remote areas.

In its 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, it revealed some 15.1% of Australians who smoked everyday, but that figure had declined 16.6% in 2007 and 24.3% in 1991.

The survey also showed smoking rates increased the further people lived from major cities, rising from 16.8% in cities to 19.9% in inner regional areas.

This figure kept rising, up to 20.7% of the total outer regional population, to 28.9% of the remote (or very remote) areas of the country.

While RDAA president Dr Paul Mara congratulated the government on its victory, there was still more to be done.

"Every day in our surgeries we see the terrible impact that smoking has on the health of our patients, and the devastating effect that lung cancer has on the families of its victims," Dr Mara said.

"Smoking rates in rural and remote Australia are still disturbingly high, and we welcome any move to help reduce the number of people suffering from nicotine addiction.

"This legislation is more than just smoke and mirrors.

"It will have positive outcomes that go beyond our borders and we are very happy to see the Australian government leading the way on this important issue."

Want to Quit Smoking? Go to quit.org.au or call the Quitline on 137 848.

Smoking rates by geography in Australia:

Major cities: 16.8% in 2010, down from 18% in 2007

Inner regional: 19.9% in 2010, down from 21.9% in 2007

Outer regional: 20.7% in 2010, down from 23% in 2007

Remote, very remote: 28.9% in 2010, up from 25% in 2007

SOURCE: National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 2010.

Topics:  bat nicola roxon smoking



New store provides shoppers more fresh food choice

Even the shoppers are excited about the opening of Causley Fresh Grafton as owner Jess Causley (front) poses in front of her staff.

After months of hard work, Causley Fresh finally opens in Grafton

10 songs to spice up the Christmas playlist

Dee Snider from Twisted Sister dressed as Santa has probably ruined more than one Christmas

Sick and tired of the same old Christmas songs?

Magnificent Magpies triumphant return

MAGNIFICENT MAGPIES: Front: Bessie, second row: Riley and Nadia, third row: Lucy, Molly and Caitlin, back: Tom, Liam, Micah and their teacher Ainsley Pope from South Grafton Public School who recently won part of the Animal Allies First Lego League competition in Sydney. Absent team member: Kaydence.

Ten kids from South Grafton Public School won a Sydney competition

Local Partners

Magnificent Magpies triumphant return

EXCITEMENT and enthusiasm got 10 students from South Grafton Public School across the line at the recent Animal Allies First Lego League


Wallis Bird at the Pelican Playhouse

IN TOWN: Wallis Bird is on at the Pelican Playhouse next week.

Wallis Bird begins her first Australian tour in Grafton

Twice as nice for Grace at Dolphin awards

Grace Hickey receives one of her two Dolphin awards at the ceremony at the Ballina RSL

Maclean singer takes out Youth and Female Vocal categories

Community tackling ways to slow the suicide rate

Draft plan to reverse horrific suicide rate in the region

Brad Pitt bids to keep custody battle private

Brad Pitt will go to court to keep his custody battle private

Sia has split from her husband

Sia has split from her husband Erik Anders Lang.

Wallis Bird at the Pelican Playhouse

IN TOWN: Wallis Bird is on at the Pelican Playhouse next week.

Wallis Bird begins her first Australian tour in Grafton

Amy Schumer thanks Barbie trolls for hateful comments

Amy Schumer is in the lead role for the new Barbie movie

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing for destroyed sex life

Shannen Doherty's husband is suing her former manager

Opera in the Paddock back for another show-stopper

BACK AGAIN: Opera in the Paddock.

Enjoy a little Opera in the Paddock next year

Give a little more this Christmas

TIME TO GIVE: Lee Johns, Courtney Smith and Daniel Kelly of Ray White Yamba promote their Little Ray Of Giving Christmas gift appeal.

Call out for presents, big or small

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!