Page 108 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 10 February 2015

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reasons: health, fitness, cost and health warnings. Social factors are highly influential in smoking habits.

Nobody more than a smoker, an ex-smoker and those closest to them knows how highly addictive smoking is and how difficult it is to give up. Our local champions of the “Beyond today” campaign tell their motivating stories and promote a healthy, smoke-free lifestyle through posters, brochures, short videos and songs created and performed by local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and youth. These resources and digital stories are available at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health portal via the ACT government Health website.

Also, the “Beyond today—it’s up to you” campaign is promoting stopping smoking and a healthier lifestyle using the images and messages of the “Beyond today” champions on four ACTION buses, on bus shelters, in radio advertising on AM and FM bands, and at community events

“Beyond today” local champions include Agnes Shea, a well-known elder who has seen the long-term health impact of smoking on people and their families. She said: “I want to see young people achieve their dreams and lead a strong healthy nation—then they can show the way for upcoming generations.” Another local champion is Benny Hodges, who had a massive heart attack and a massive realisation. He said, “If I want to look after my family, I need to look after my health and wellbeing, and if that means giving up smokes, then so be it.”

I refer also to Dion Devow, who made a conscious decision to give up smoking before having children; his son Dante, who believes his dad being healthy helps him be healthy; Roxie Brown, who took many years and many attempts before giving up smoking, and who admitted that stopping smoking takes strength and determination; and young Chenisha Drazevich, whose dad has emphysema.

This campaign not only gives smokers good reasons to stop but it lets them know about community support and pathways to get help. I am proud our community is getting behind this campaign that can make a real difference to people’s lives, and, especially, can save our children from getting hooked on smokes.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 5.54 pm.

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