The Galangoor Duwalami Medical Centre staff pictured at the Naidoc Week celebration last year.
The Galangoor Duwalami Medical Centre staff pictured at the Naidoc Week celebration last year. boni holmes

Spreading fun, not smoke on World No Tobacco Day

GALANGOOR Duwalami Primary Healthcare Service is giving the Fraser Coast's indigenous communities the chance to make a deadly choice and go smoke-free at Community Days in Hervey Bay and Maryborough.

Smoking continues to claim around 19,000 lives in Australia each year and is responsible for around one in five preventable deaths in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

World No Tobacco Day on Friday aims to raise awareness of the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco smoking.

This year's campaign focuses on the negative impact tobacco has on people's lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease.

Galangoor chief executive Stevan Ober said the number of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over who are daily smokers is nearly three times the rate for other Australians.

"Changing attitudes to smoking is vital to closing the gap on health,” he said.

"Our World No Tobacco Day events are designed to highlight the considerable health benefits of quitting in a fun and engaging way, and to help our mob take that all-important first step.”

People attending the community days will have a chance to win Deadly Choices prizes and give-aways and enjoy a barbecue while they learn more about going smoke-free and the difference it can make to their lives.

"Making a deadly choice is all about helping our communities make healthy choices for themselves and their families - to stop smoking, to eat good food and exercise daily,” Mr Ober said.

The community days will take place between 10am and 2pm in the car parks in front of Galangoor's Hervey Bay Clinic in Central Ave, Pialba, and Maryborough Clinic in Bazaar St.