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Federal funding for new digital services to best support Australians quitting smoking or vaping

Monday 17 June, 2024

The Federal Government and Australia’s leading cessation service, Quit, have announced the expansion of services to include a new national hub - www.quit.org.au - to help people quit smoking and vaping. Quit is a program of Cancer Council Victoria.  

With an estimated 1.8 million Australians over the age of 14 smoking daily, and around 1.5 million who currently vape1, more needs to be done to help people end their dependence on nicotine, said Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Todd Harper AM. 

“People battling nicotine addiction are in the millions in this country – they are not alone. And nor do they have to try and quit alone. This new funding is an important step forward, to prevent future ill-health of young Australians by preventing more people from starting smoking or vaping, and best supporting those who smoke or vape to quit.  

“Smoking still kills 20,000 Australians every year, an unacceptably high number. And we know the proven gateway affect from vaping to smoking, with people who vape being three times as likely to use cigarettes,” said Mr Harper.    

Quit’s long-standing free telephone counselling service, Quitline 13 7848, has supported tens of thousands of Australians to stop smoking, and more recently, to stop vaping as requests for support to quit vaping continue to rise.  

The expansion and digitalisation of national cessation services will support more Australians to do the same, with the hub evolving beyond telephone counselling to provide an equitable, accessible and personalised online experience to help people quit smoking or vaping for good.

Director of Quit, Rachael Andersen, said if the industry continues to find new ways to hook increasingly younger customers on nicotine, Quit will continue to develop new and innovative tools to support Australians as they continue to try and quit smoking or vaping.

“It’s no secret that Big Tobacco aggressively targets young people online through ads and influencers on social media, and in person by setting up vape shops close to schools. We can see this reflected in vaping rates, with young people aged 18-24 most likely of any age group to have ever vaped.2

“Quit continues to evolve its digital services with young people in mind, including supporting the redevelopment of the My QuitBuddy app, to equip people who smoke or vape with helpful tips and distractions to overcome cravings, and by providing a tracking system to chart progress towards quitting goals,” said Ms Andersen.

Funded by the Federal Government over the three years, the national cessation hub and its services build on the success of the partnership between VicHealth and Quit, which continues to deliver services to Victorians.

“This multi-decade partnership has set the foundation for the future of quit.org.au – the home of supporting all Australians who smoke or vape to quit for good,” Ms Andersen said.

VicHealth CEO, Sandro Demaio, commended the Australian Government for providing additional funding, and highlighted the importance of expanding cessation services to support young people.

“At a time when the vaping and tobacco industry is using every trick in the book to hook young people on nicotine, these extra services are urgently needed to help Australians feel supported to quit,” said Dr Demaio.

The national digital platform is now live and will continue to expand and evolve as new services, campaigns and technologies become available. So, whether you’re ready to quit now, if you’re a child vaping or a worried parent, if you’re thinking about quitting, you have quit before and want to try again, or if you want advice to support a loved one, at any stage at any age; Quit is ready to support you. 

Quit is ready to support you

Visit the Quit Hub or call a Quit Counsellor for support on 13 7848.

Quit Today

References

National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2022–2023

National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2022–2023

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