World No Tobacco Day: Cancer Council WA calls for more smoke-free areas in the Mid West
The Cancer Council WA has called on local governments in the Mid West to create more smoke-free public spaces, using this week’s World No Tobacco Day to highlight their cause.
A 2020 survey conducted by the council found that 83 per cent of adults from regional WA supported or strongly supported creating more public smoke-free spaces.
Mid West regional education officer, Aiden McDowell, said while significant progress had been made to reduce the impact of tobacco, it was still the leading cause of preventable death and disease across Australia.
“Most West Australians support the creation of more smoke-free public spaces in regional areas, especially those in the Mid West community that are popular with families,” he said.
“Second-hand smoke increases the risk of health effects in children such as asthma, respiratory infections, and ear infections, and is even linked to behavioural problems and learning difficulties.
“Children and young people may be more likely to take up smoking when they see it as a normal behaviour among family and friends or the wider community.”
Mr McDowell said local governments across WA had an important role to play in this space.
“The City of Bunbury is one local government who has already committed, as part of their Community Health and Wellness Action Plan 2021-2026, to expand the number of smoke-free public spaces in their community,” he said.
“The City of Albany is another local government that has committed to protecting the health of the community by expanding the number of smoke-free public spaces.”
According to Cancer Council WA research, around two in five WA smokers report that creating more public smoke-free outdoor areas would be helpful if they were attempting to quit smoking.
“We know from our research that creating smoke-free public spaces helps to provide a supportive environment for people wanting to quit smoking and those who have quit,” he said.
“We urge our local government authorities here in the Mid West to listen to our community and commit to increasing the number of smoke-free public spaces to provide a healthy environment for everyone.”
World No Tobacco Day was held on Tuesday.
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