Butt Out Boondah Celebrate World No Tobacco Day

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May 18, 2022

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Tuesday May 31 is World No Tobacco Day and GPH’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) team – Butt out Boondah are urging the community to think not only about smokings harmful impact on people, but also on the environment.


The theme of this year’s WNTD is ‘Tobacco: Threat to our environment’ – raising awareness about the way tobacco pollutes our planet and involves the destruction of 600 million tress globally.


TIS Goulburn, Yass, Queanbeyan and Cooma Team Leader Iona Marsh says its estimated that in Australia over 7 million cigarette butts are littered each year:


“We often think about the way smoking is harmful to people but we don’t always think about the way it harms Country.”


“The harm is done not just in the production of the cigarettes but when toxic butts are tossed on the ground posing a threat to wildlife, pets and children as well.”


“They don’t just contain harmful chemicals but are a form of plastic.”


“E- cigarettes or vapes are even worse, as they not only introduce plastic but also heavy metals and flammable lithium–ion batteries into waterways and soil,” adds Iona.


While smoking rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People have declined to around 37%, the rate is unfortunately still 3 times higher than the rest of the population.


“Our message is clear, we are urging people to care for Country and themselves by not smoking or vaping,” says Iona.


“If people are looking for support or resources, they can get in touch with our team via gph.org.au/our-health-services/aboriginal-health/butt-out-boondah or call the Koori Quitline on 13 78 48.”

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