National Reconciliation Week and World No Tobacco Day sees new quit smoking programs launch to authentically connect with and help Indigenous people quit smoking for good

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May 21, 2021

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May 2021: In the spirit of National Reconciliation Week and World No Tobacco Day (31 May), Grand Pacific Health’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking program, Butt Out Boondah, has launched a suite of new education programs, under the new theme ‘smoking isn’t a part of our culture’. These programs have been created to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living within the Queanbeyan, Yass, Cooma and Goulburn regions to quit smoking for good.


In what is a truly fresh approach, the content is based on in-depth consultation with local Indigenous communities which led to the creation of tailored programs focusing on the celebration of culture and what it means to be First Nations People, rather than solely highlighting the negative impact of smoking.


Currently 39% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 15 are smoking daily, which is 3 times higher than the general population, sitting at 12.9%.With a statistic this high, Butt Out Boondah recognised the need to work in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the selected communities to develop culturally appropriate programs tailored to each target group.


Additionally, Butt Out Boondah launched a new TV campaign in Canberra, Queanbeyan, Yass, Cooma, Goulburn and nationally, to raise awareness of the new programs. The TV campaign celebrates culture through a smoking ceremony, traditional dance and a yarning circle, to reflect the journey individuals must take to quit smoking for good.








Justine Bamblett, Tackling Indigenous Smoking Officer at Butt Out Boondah and an Indigenous woman herself, comments: “Our People continued to give us feedback about the negative messaging surrounding smoking, and how it wasn’t motivating them to quit. Rather, they felt more empowered and inspired to better their health when they were connected to culture”, says Ms Bamblett. “It’s about looking at the whole person, culture included, and being positive about the things we have to celebrate and not focusing on one particular issue in isolation.”


Butt Out Boondah’s new programs are as follows:


  • Butt Out Boondah for Boori Yarning Circle – a program tailored for mothers and families to raise awareness for the health impacts of smoking
  • Butt Out Boondah Exercise Class – a smoking cessation program coupled with physical activity to improve overall health
  • Butt Out Boondah School Programs – empowering youth through education about the impact of smoking on their community
  • Young Women’s Yarning Circle – supporting young women to live a smoke-free life.


To learn more about Butt Out Boondah, visit


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