September 29, 2016


Ryde community backs QUIT4october™ to help friends and family quit smoking for good

 29 September 2016: Throughout September, residents of Ryde are being called on to encourage friends and family who smoke to sign up to a new Lung Foundation Australia smoking cessation and social media initiative, QUIT4october™.

The month-long program is dedicated to helping people to quit smoking with the support of their GP and pharmacist in October.

John Alexander MP said: “Research shows 75 per cent of smokers want to quit 1,2 and 40 per cent try at least once per year1. Ryde is delighted to have been selected to participate in this important program and I urge our community to join together and turn intention to action.”

“Working together at a community level to encourage people to quit smoking is a vital step forward in promoting healthy living and preventing disease for a great number of people in Ryde,” continued John Alexander.

Central to the QUIT4october program is an interactive website which has information about quitting smoking, an online lung health check and a downloadable checklist to support the conversations with GPs or pharmacists. Importantly, the QUIT4october program will deliver messages of support through regular emails and texts, to those who sign up for the campaign.

Lung Foundation Australia CEO Heather Allan said quitting smoking can be a lonely and isolating journey. That’s why QUIT4october focuses on providing support for people starting their quit journey, whether it is their first or their fiftieth attempt.

“We want people to know they are not alone and we, and their health professional, are there for them,” Mrs Allan said.

“Quitting smoking was one of the best things you could do for your health, regardless of how old you are or how long you’ve been smoking. Stopping smoking decreases the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke and chronic disease,4” she said.

Central to the pilot program is an interactive website. People wanting to quit smoking should visit to gather information about quitting smoking, conduct a virtual lung health check and download a checklist to support their conversations with their GP or pharmacist.

Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn, Tobacco Treatment Specialist commented: “Talking to a GP or pharmacist about a personalised quit smoking plan will motivate you, teach practical quitting skills and build a supportive environment for the quitting journey.

Using medication as part of your quit smoking plan will also increase your chances of quitting by up to three times,5 and will ease the physical discomfort of nicotine withdrawal and reduce cravings.”5

“If people who smoke work with their healthcare professional to achieve their goal of being smoke free for 31 days, they will be at least five time more likely to become a permanent ex-smoker,”6 concluded Dr Mendelsohn.

The QUIT4october program is championed by Lung Foundation Australia and proudly supported by Pfizer Australia, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, National Asthma Council Australia and Australian Association Smoking Cessation Professionals.

 The City of Ryde Council is a proud sponsor of QUIT4october.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Tanya West 0406 907 845 Email:

Daniella Goldberg Tel: 0416 211 067 Email:


About QUIT4october™
QUIT4october is a month-long initiative dedicated to helping people quit smoking with the support of their healthcare professional. People who smoke can visit to download information resources and register to receive emails or texts messages of support. The campaign will be promoted via traditional and social media in addition to local community events at certain locations.

Stop Smoking – The Facts

  • Approximately three million Australians (nearly 16 per cent of those aged 14 or older) continue to smoke tobacco.7
  • For every year you continue to smoke after 35 you shorten your life expectancy by three months. 8
  • If you quit smoking at 40 years of age, you gain nine years of life and at 60, you gain four years.9
  • Your risk of a heart attack falls by half three to four years after quitting.10
  • The average weight gain after quitting is only two to three kilograms over a five year period11 however one in five quitters actually loses weight.12
  • If you quit smoking a pack of cigarettes a day you are likely to save around $6,500 per year. 13


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  2. iQuit4Life. Accessed Spetember 2015
  3. Cooper J., Borland R., Yong H.H. Australian smokers increasingly use help to quit, but number of attemps reamins stable: findings from the International Tobacco Control Study 2002-09. Aust N Z J Public Health 2011; 35(4):368-76.
  4. US Department of Health and Human Services. The health benefits of smoking cessation. A report of the Surgeon General. DHHS Publication No CDC 90-8416. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public 1 Health Service, Centres for Disease Control, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 1990
  5. Cahill K, Stevens S, Perera R, Lancaster T. Pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation: an overview and network meta-analysis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013; 5: CD009329.
  6. West R., Stapleton J. Clinical and public health significance of treatments to aid smoking cessation. Eur Respir Rev 2008; 17: 110, 199–204. DOI: 10.1183/09059180.00011.
  7. AIHW. National Drug Strategy Household Survey. 2013
  8. Doll R, Peto R, Boreham J, Sutherland I. Mortality in relation to smocking: 50 years’ observations on male British doctors. BMJ. 2004; 328(7455): 1519.
  9. Teo KK, Ounpuu S, Hawken S, et al. Tobacco use and risk of myocardial infarction in 52 countries in the INTERHEART study: a case-control study. Lancet. 2006; 368(9536): 647-658.
  10. Jha P et al. 21st-century hazards of smoking and the benefits of cessation in the US. NEJM 2013
  11. Tian J, Venn A, Otahal P, Gall S. The association between quitting smocking and weight gain: a systemic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Obes Rev. 2015.
  12. Aubin HJ, Farley A, Lycett D, et al. Weight gain in smokers after quitting cigarettes: meta-analysis. BMJ. 2012; 345: e4439.
  13. Accessed September 2015