South Coast Kooris urged to butt out boondah

SOUTHERN NSW residents will see some familiar faces on the small screen over the next few months with the launch last week of a quit smoking television campaign aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Called Butt Out Boondah and being delivered by Southern NSW Medicare Local, the campaign was launched at an event in Moruya last Tuesday night attended by the local actors and their families, SNSWML Aboriginal advisory committee members and SNSWML directors.

 “It’s a special occasion,” CEO Kathryn Stonestreet said in her welcome speech.

“This is the Medicare Local’s first TV campaign and it’s the first campaign promoting smoking cessation specifically for Aboriginal people in South East NSW.

 “We’re very proud that the stars of the ads are local people telling their stories about smoking and its impact on their lives.”

Ms Stonestreet explained that SNSWML was one of only two Medicare Locals in the nation to receive Federal Government funding to run the smoking cessation campaign.

Testament, she said, to the excellent reputation of the SNSWML Aboriginal health team.

 “We worked closely with the local community over many months to understand what motivates people to try to quit smoking and the themes that will resonate with Aboriginal people,” she said, adding that boondah is the word for cigarette used by Koori people across southern NSW.

 “The ads are authentic and real and the feedback we’re getting already is that using local people and their stories is a winner.”

Indigenous people who would like to quit smoking can call 1800 090 017 and get immediate assistance from SNSWML’s health workers to receive free nicotine replacement therapy while they wait for an appointment with their GP to access further supplies.

Once registered with Butt Out Boondah, clients have access to ongoing support from SNSWML’s Aboriginal health team through telephone follow up appointments and access to SNSWML’s other Koori-specific healthy lifestyle programs.

The four 30-second ads are now screening on the WIN and Prime networks and will run until the end of May.

The first ad portrays a woman missing out on fun times with friends because she’s outside smoking. The second features a young man remembering his smoke-filled childhood and resolving that his children won’t grow up around cigarettes.

Two cousins from Bega who represent NSW in rugby league talk about why they won’t take up smoking in the third commercial, and the final ad is a montage of people talking about their reason to quit.

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