Accolade for anti-smoking campaigner
GIVE up the smokes!
That's the name and the aim of a quit smoking course for Indigenous people that has proven so innovative its creator has won an award and funding to continue the good work.
Dr Gillian Gould, the Head of Coffs Harbour's campus of the Rural Clinical School UNSW, has been helping people successfully quit smoking for the past seven years. Since 2005, her focus has been the development of an Indigenous specific program for quitting.
“One of the reasons Indigenous people die earlier is because of heavy use of tobacco,” Dr Gould said.
“Cardio vascular problems, respiratory problems, all are linked with smoking, which is one of the reasons there is inequity in health between Indigenous people and the general population.”
The North Coast has the highest prevalence of Indigenous smoking in all of NSW, with 60 per cent of the region's Indigenous population smoking cigarettes.
The Quit for CATS (Chronically Addicted Tobacco Smokers) program developed by Dr Jamie Dunn has been running on the Coffs Coast since 1999, but the lack of attendance by Indigenous people prompted the development of Give Up The Smokes.