A Make Smoking History campaign from 2017 is being re-aired across the country to remind people about the heightened dangers of smoking during COVID-19. The relaunched campaign comes on the back of new statistics by the Mitchell Institute for Education and Health Policy which revealed the eastern residents of Geraldton had the third-highest rate of smokers in the State. Cancer Council WA Mid West education officer Aiden McDowell said Geraldton’s high smoking rate was due to an inequity issue, linked to the lower socio-economic status found in regional WA. “People who face adverse circumstances such as unemployment, stress, or grew up with people smoking around them are more vulnerable to taking up smoking,” he said. “Stopping smoking at any time represents a huge opportunity for your health and wellbeing, adding up to a decade, or more, to your life.” According to the Mitchell Institute, Geraldton has a higher proportion of smokers than the State average, with eastern Geraldton faring the worst with 25.9 per cent of residents smoking. The rest of the city didn’t fare much better, with northern areas sitting at 18.5 per cent and southern areas at 16.7 per cent compared to the State average of 9.7. The campaign will re-air after being edited to include messaging about quitting during COVID-19 by saying smokers are more likely to experience severe complications of the virus. Levi Montgomery, who appeared in the 2017 campaign, said she had saved more than $32,000 on cigarettes in the three years since she quit. “I urge people in the Mid West to use the support and help from Cancer Council WA and Make Smoking History to quit smoking, particularly during these challenging times,” she said.