Latest research indicates that the government’s initiative for plain-packaged smokes is helping Aussies nation-wide to quit.
Quitline has experienced a spike in clients since the plain-packaged smokes law was introduced.
The research published in The Medical Journal of Australia this week, reveals shows a 78 per cent increase in weekly calls to Quitline, coinciding with the introduction of the world-first law.
The study looked into weekly Quitline calls from New South Wales and the ACT, recording 363 calls in the week before plain packaging began on October 1, 2012, to 651 calls four weeks later.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the findings were hopeful and encouraging.
“Plain packaging and graphic health warnings make it almost impossible for smokers to ignore the devastating effects of smoking,” says Ms Clift.
“We are confident that this important legislation will prevent people from taking up smoking and encourage others to quit.
“The findings should provide another strong incentive for other countries around the world to follow Australia’s lead and introduce this important health reform.”
One in seven deaths in Queensland are due to smoking, according to latest Queensland Health figures.
An average of 3422 deaths occur annually from smoking, and 300 deaths from exposure to second-hand smoke.
Ms Clift said while plain-packaged smokes was an important step in the fight against tobacco-related deaths, more is needed to support smokers to quit.
“Cancer Council Queensland has urged, and will continue to urge, the State Government to establish smoke free public places in State legislation.
“We know that most smokers want to quit, and each year about 10,000 of them are successful in Queensland – but many more would quit if the State Government would introduce statewide laws to ban smoking in designated public places,” Ms Clift said.