TIME TO QUIT: Dr Margaret Young (inset) says the Wide Bay has a far higher smoking rate than the state average.
TIME TO QUIT: Dr Margaret Young (inset) says the Wide Bay has a far higher smoking rate than the state average.

Five tips to help you quit on World No Tobacco Day

WITH more than 100 people from Wide Bay dying due to lung cancer every year, this year's World No Tobacco Day is a reminder that there's never been a better time to quit smoking.

As always, Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service is supporting World No Tobacco Day today, where the theme this year focuses on the links between tobacco and lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease.

Across Queensland, smoking accounts for about 2.6 per cent of hospital admissions, with some 80 per cent of lung cancer and 75 per cent of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease due to tobacco.

"The use of tobacco is directly linked to many negative health outcomes, with two out of three smokers dying from a tobacco-related illnesses,” WBHHS physician Dr Margaret Young said.

"The end result of tobacco use is that smokers, on average, die 10 years younger than the rest of the population.”

In Wide Bay smoking is of particular concern, with the local smoking rate of 16 per cent significantly above the state average of 12 per cent, with 179 locals diagnosed with lung cancer each year.

"Regrettably, our high rates of smoking in Wide Bay lead to higher levels of many chronic diseases across the region,” Dr Young said.

"If you're a smoker, you should really consider taking that first step.”

Queensland Health tips for people quitting smoking include:

Don't go it alone - smokers who quit often need support during the days, weeks and months after they've stopped smoking. Services such as Quitline (13 78 48) allow you to call and speak to a counsellor about quitting.

Understand the realities of quitting - it's important to be realistic about how you're going to feel when you quit smoking so that you can plan ahead and not get discouraged if the process is hard. Every smoker will experience withdrawal symptoms in different ways, so be prepared.

Avoid triggers and plan ahead - having a plan might make or break your success in quitting smoking. When you're planning to quit, think about what might tempt you to start smoking again, and ways you can avoid these triggers.

Quit as a team - It can be easier to keep a commitment if you're part of a group working towards the same goals.

Keep the bigger picture in mind - When quitting seems tough, keep in mind the reasons you decided to quit in the first place. Make a plan for how you'll spend the money you're going to save or start a journal to track the positive changes you notice about your health.



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