Experts welcome vow to combat smoking and lung cancer rates

Morgan Liotta

10/04/2019 3:27:42 PM

The Federal Opposition has pledged $40 million towards smoking cessation and the fight against lung cancer.

Cigarette packet
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Australia.

Despite the country having been seen to lead the way in anti-smoking campaigns, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in Australia.
The Federal Opposition has announced it will make a major push to tackle smoking and lung cancer rates, should it be elected in the upcoming Federal Election, through a $40 million injection to renew the National Tobacco Campaign.
The rebooted campaign includes:

  • $15 million to provide additional lung cancer nurses to support patients with lung cancer
  • $6 million to support Tobacco Free Portfolio – an organisation designed to promote a tobacco-free finance sector
  • $2.4 million to support Lung Foundation Australia to rollout awareness campaigns for early detection of lung cancer and workplace hazards.
The new funding is part of the Opposition’s $2.3 billion Medicare cancer plan, which will include up to six million free cancer scans, three million free specialist appointments, and more affordable medicines – a move the RACGP has called for to ensure more affordable healthcare.
National cancer experts welcome the commitment to the anti-smoking campaign, which Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said will help to prevent thousands of smoking-related deaths and save millions in healthcare costs.
‘The Opposition’s $40 million plan would be the most significant investment in anti-smoking ads at the national level for the general population in almost a decade,’ Cancer Council Australia CEO Professor Sanchia Aranda said.
‘The two most successful interventions for reducing smoking rates in Australia nationally have been hard-hitting anti-smoking campaigns and tobacco tax increases.’
Reminding people who smoke of the associated harms will help reduce smoking rates – which are currently at 12.2% of Australian adults – according to Cancer Council Australia.
‘In recent years, cost has emerged as the main motivating factor driving Australians to quit smoking, due to our world-leading tobacco exercise regime,’ Professor Aranda said.
‘However, health concerns have fallen away as a motivation for giving up smoking.
‘Setting a target of 10% smoking prevalence and backing it with a renewed funding commitment to one of Australia’s signature public health programs should be commended.’

Federal Election lung cancer National Tobacco Campaign smoking

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