Amy Crowe and Sandra Avuri help to launch ‘Blow Away the Smokes Day’ which has been initiated for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit smoking on March 12 each year.
Amy Crowe and Sandra Avuri help to launch ‘Blow Away the Smokes Day’ which has been initiated for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit smoking on March 12 each year.

Blow Away The Smokes Day launched

SMOKING is more prevalent among the Indigenous communities on the Mid North Coast than anywhere else in New South Wales.

With this in mind 'Blow Away The Smokes Day' was launched on Monday morning at Coffs Harbour's Galambila Aboriginal Health Centre.

Both Sandra Avuri and Amy Crowe are project officers for the campaign and the pair provided some startling statistics revealing how big an issue smoking is among the Indigenous population.

While 18% of the state's population smoke, Indigenous figures are much higher than that.

It's easy to see why tobacco related illnesses and disease are the number one killer of Indigenous people when 50% of aboriginals in NSW smoke and that figure on the North Coast and Mid North Coast is a massive 59.9%.

"We're having a no tobacco day," Mrs Avuri said.

"We want to start it in our own country where smoking is such a big issue and then see it grow to go all around Australia."

From this day, March 12 each year will be 'Blow Away The Smokes Day'.

One of the major resources in helping people quit is a 30 minute DVD titled 'Blow Away The Smokes'.

The DVD has been launched as a valuable resource for helping Aboriginal smokers to quit smoking.

It is designed to equip smokers and their families with the knowledge and motivation they need for quitting.

And it's been noticed too.

Already phone calls from communities in Northern NSW and the western region of Northern Territory have been received asking for copies.

Working hard toward the goal of helping quit smoking, Mrs Avuri said she hoped that some strong results will be gained from the initiative.

"Hopefully not only will March 12 be a 'Blow Away the Smokes Day' but every day will be that."



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