Updated: Jul 16
by Pippa Starr
16 July 2021
Smokers try all sorts of things to quit smoking.
As the famous Mark Twain saying goes:
It’s everywhere you look, on cigarette packets, posters, doctors waiting rooms and anywhere that healthier choices are meant to be encouraged.
“Call The Quit line!”
A great service with all the good intentions in the world, funded with taxpayer’s money helps quitters quit for good with amazing results, right?
For the big amounts of money, it costs to keep the Quit lines going I question if there is really an effective return on investment for taxpayers.
Have you tried the recommended Quit Line methods?
- Carcinogenic Champix
- Explore The Neighborhood
- Breathe In & Out
- Make It Mindful
- Boogie Away
- Losing yourself
- Listen To Your Favourite Music
- Eat Sugarfree Lollies
- Have some Chewy
- Try A New Drink
- Phone A Friend
- Keep Calm
Keep calm? What? KEEP CALM!
I challenge ANY smoker that has attempted to quit smoking to KEEP CALM when trying to quit and the very suggestion to just KEEP CALM is not only somewhat patronising but also stress inducing hence making smokers feel like a cigarette even more!
Yes these are serious quit smoking methods like those listed above on their website that I for one, haven’t found any proof of effectiveness on!
Should our taxes fund these allegedly effective yet seemingly un-researched and dare I say, not very scientific quit strategies?
Maybe the approved QUIT method of "losing yourself" might work until you find yourself in the mirror frustrated with a cigarette in hand?
According to a paper brokered by the Sax Institute in 2019 for Cancer Council Victoria
“In Australia, there is no central body that oversees quitlines. Instead, six different organisations deliver the eight different Quitline™ services around Australia, one for each state and territory. Guidelines for service delivery and training of counsellors are available from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and currently recommend combining a behavioural intervention (such as quitline) with NRT or cessation medications. There have been efforts to establish local practice protocols within Australia before however, this has not resulted in a standardised nation-wide protocol.”
If there are any KPI’s to measure the effectiveness of the “Quit” service, it doesn’t appear to be very transparent or easily found.
So, while smoking rates almost stagnate over the last 6 years in Australia and a black market tobacco industry booms, why are we just blindly doing the same things and expecting the same results?
I think the key word here is accountability.
There are some old papers floating around allegedly measuring the effectiveness of Quit lines in helping to reduce smoking rates and how they help smokers with friendly well intentioned service levels, but there is nothing clear (that I can find) that shows how effective the service really is.
Their Number 1 most effective way of getting people to quit smoking is via the now withdrawn from the market and known to be carcinogenic product “Champix” by Pfizer. It’s also known to cause a myriad of other side effects and has been attributable to many deaths both here in Australia and around the world.
Let’s assume that based on best known figures Champix has around a 5-10% success rate and with support up to around 15% in helping smokers quit, where does that now leave smokers and the viability of “Quit’s” strategy to help smokers get off the cancer sticks in the long term?
The world leaders in science around smoking and cessation who have the momentum of quitting success on their side at a far better pace than Australia, can be found in the UK.
Maybe it’s time to look elsewhere for some guidance as Australia’s smoking rates stagnate?
In the UK support programs alongside the use of vaping products are reaping some huge benefits with massive return on investment benefit gains from their various health programs.
Vaping with nicotine has been proven to be by far the most effective quit smoking method in the world at present. It’s not 100% safe and does come with under one twentieth of the health risks compared to combustible nicotine options.
Over 68 million people over the last 18 years have quit smoking with zero deaths attributable to vaping with nicotine.
According to the well known and highly respected "Cochrane Review", vaping is also at least "70% more effective in supporting smokers to successfully quit than nicotine replacement therapy". eg. Champix, gum, spray lozenges ect,
Yet here we are in Australia making it easier for adults to access cigarettes at your local retailer than to obtain a nicotine vaping product that is known not to kill and significantly reduces harm!
It’s often too easy for Australians to become disengaged from such issues as many lose respect of our government officials and politicians to make wise decisions that offer a net gain to the taxpayer.
However, in this time when Australia has the biggest financial burden from the Covid pandemic that it has ever experienced, it would be wise to rein in some of the around $140 billion dollars’ a year worth of lost productivity caused by smoking illnesses, wouldn’t it?
It would also be lovely to reduce the deplorable 21000 per year smoking death toll and enjoy more time with our family.
It’s time to get serious about health and that time is now to keep our government representatives and funded services, like "Quit" accountable more than ever before, unless you are content with this deplorable and quite frankly disturbing national tragedy.
Don't get me wrong, if you can quit smoking, no matter what the method or assistance you receive from wherever you get it, I for one congratulate you for taking that step!
Now it's time to look out for our mates in the same way, to help them quit in a viable way that works for them.
What do you think?
Is is past time to Quit the strategies that are clearly not working nor encompassing the best known science in the world or keep Australian taxpayers money burning?
*this article is NOT made for commercial purposes nor is for sale. This is my website and is independently funded by me. The opinions expressed are wholly my own.