Last Friday was World No Tobacco Day with local Community Health staff joining in with the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSLHD) to help promote the importance of a smoke-free lifestyle.
Statistics show that despite declining rates of smoking in Australia, tobacco smoking still remains the leading cause of disease and premature death, and is a leading risk factor for many chronic diseases.
In NSW, 15.2 per cent of the population smoke tobacco and WNSWLHD has one of the highest rates of smoking tobacco of any LHD in NSW with 23.5 per cent.
Apart from the impact of tobacco smoking on the health of our lungs, this year World No Tobacco Day also highlighted the detrimental affects of second hand smoke.
Community Midwife/Women’s Health Nurse Rachael Slinger, said babies and children
are particularly susceptible to the effects of second hand smoke as their lungs are still developing.
Ms Slinger said Cobar was lucky to be running a ‘Quit 4 2’ pilot program for mothers with babies which offers extra support including nicotine replacement therapy.
“It’s very safe,” Ms Slinger assured
“We offer support, including telephone support after baby arrives, counselling and also support for dads if they want it.”
She said it was very important to provide a smoke free home which will help prevent complications during pregnancy such as premature labour, small sized babies and breathing difficulties when they are born.
Smoke in a home also increases the risks of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Cobar Community Health nurse and trained Smoking Cessation Provider (and a former smoker) Anna Dunlevy encourages anyone who is thinking about quitting to call in and have a “no pressure” chat to her about ways they can help.