Maari Ma's Focus on Tobacco
MAARI MA’S FOCUS ON TOBACCO STRENGTHENS WITH NEW ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH UNIT
Tuesday 31st May marks World No Tobacco Day and Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation will be joining the annual worldwide campaign to raise awareness of the health risks associated with tobacco use and to highlight its new Environmental Health Unit.
Maari Ma Chief Executive Officer, Bob Davis said tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and smoking rates among Indigenous people are more than double that of non Indigenous people.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 15 are 2.8 times more likely than other Australians to be daily smokers.
“Smoking accounts for approximately one in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths and about one-third of their burden from cancers and cardiovascular disease.
“Our communities in the Far West are no exception and this is why Maari Ma places a strong emphasis on smoking cessation.
“We have recently established a new unit at Maari Ma funded under the Federal Government’s Tacking Indigenous Smoking initiative.
“Our Environmental Health Unit includes two new positions which have a population / environmental health approach to tackling smoking. We are also focussing on the capacity of our workforce to support our clients in their quit attempts.
“Evidence shows that multi-level approaches to tobacco control are likely to be most effective for reducing smoking prevalence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“Our Unit has a population and preventative health approach which complements our other tobacco control activities as well as a focus on strengthening our training in tobacco cessation interventions for our front line staff.
“This is a very exciting initiative and one that the Board has been very keen to see established as we work to close the gap in Indigenous health outcomes” Mr Davis said.
As part of World No Tobacco Day activities Maari Ma is holding two education sessions for families of community members who smoke and for smokers who are thinking about quitting.
These will be held at the Primary Health Care Service (PHCS) at 10.30 am and at 2.00 pm tomorrow.
There will also be a health promotion stand in the foyer of the PHCS with information and resources, and Expired Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitoring.
Staff have also been promoting taking the pledge – a pledge to support yourself or support someone you know not to smoke on World No Tobacco Day - www.ahmrc.org.au/wntd-pledge.php.
In addition they are promoting a My Quit buddy app – which is a motivating tool -http://www.quitnow.gov.au/internet/quitnow/publishing.nsf/Content/quit-buddy.
30th May 2016
Available for interview
Manager Community Engagement, Kaylene Kemp