SmokeCheck: Indigenous smoking intervention project
7 August 2007
Smoking amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia is alarming; with current rates around 50 per cent compared with 16 per cent in the general population.
To address this problem a culturally specific smoking cessation program that trains health professionals working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients called SmokeCheck, will be launched on Wednesday 8 August at the University of Sydney.
The training program aims to teach Aboriginal Health Workers and other health professionals how to encourage their clients to quit smoking, through a brief intervention delivered as part of their routine care.
Evidence has shown that increasing the capacity of health workers to deliver these interventions will contribute to a reduction in smoking prevalence amongst Aboriginal people in NSW. SmokeCheck will be delivered by the Australian Centre for Health Promotion, University of Sydney, and was developed by NSW Health in partnership with the Cancer Institute NSW.
Executive Director of SmokeCheck, Shane Hearn, said: "Evidence shows that smoking contributes to poor health and early death. Compared to other Australians, Indigenous Australians are more than twice as likely to smoke, smoke more cigarettes per week and are at an increased risk of dying at a younger age, in some cases 20 years younger. In addition the evidence shows that people who quit smoking can add 7-10 years to their life expectancy.
"SmokeCheck is based on the best available evidence and uses specifically developed culturally appropriate resources to assist workers to conduct the intervention in a non-judgmental and sensitive manner. SmokeCheck aims to provide training to as many Aboriginal health workers and other health professionals as possible throughout NSW," he said.
The launch event, which takes place in the Holme Building at the University of Sydney, will be attended by the Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer), Hon Verity Firth MP, NSW Health Deputy Director General, Population Health and Chief Health Officer, and the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Professor Don Nutbeam.
Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy
Phone: +61 2 9351 4312 or 0421 617 861