Services in the Bega Valley are doubling down on their efforts to support people who wish to stop smoking.
Instead of focusing on the negative sides of smoking, such as health scare campaigns, they are also looking at more positive approaches to give up cigarettes.
“Everyone has got their own story about why they smoke and why they give it up,” Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) coordinator Gabrielle Powell said.
On Monday, a Tackling Tobacco workshop was held in Bega by NSW Cancer Council, the WRC and Mission Australia for representatives from various services to learn how to have conversations around stopping smoking.
“We need to look at positive approaches rather than just ‘smoking is bad'; that doesn’t really work,” NSW Cancer Council community engagement coordinator Kate Brett said.
She said one way to teach a more positive approach was to highlight that if smokers stopped buying cigarettes they and their families would have more of a disposable income to be able to do things they could not do previously.
Ms Powell said she thought a negative approach to giving up smoking did not work on its own because “there have been health scare campaigns, but people are still smoking”.
“If you’re a brother, sister, auntie, you will be with kids and be showing them how to smoke,” she said.
The smoking cessation officer at Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community and Medical Services, Mervyn Brierley, said he has found many people who smoke have their first cigarette of the day with their morning coffee.
He said if the association between coffee and the first cigarette could be broken, it could delay when someone starts smoking in their day.
Mr Brierley said it was important to keep the message around stopping smoking simple.
“With an overload of information, people tend not to absorb anything,” he said.
On February 17, people will have the chance to hear practical ways to stop smoking and improve their well-being. Go to Littleton Gardens, Bega from 9am-1pm