Lithgow Drug Action Taskforce Smoking
The National Tobacco Campaign is one of the Australian Government’s longest running public health campaigns. It launched in June 1997 and aims to reduce smoking rates in Australia https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/national-tobacco-campaign). At that rate, you would think, smoking might be a thing of the past. But its not. It can be hard to Quit, particularly when “everyone else is doing it”. The Planet Youth survey results for our kids show they are both curious and sticking with the habit. The 2019 survey showed 38% of our kids had tried smoking, and 11% of kids were daily smokers. This compares to 20% for experimenting and 3% for daily smoking in youth Australia wide (2018). 27% of our kids agreed with the statement: “Sometimes it is necessary to smoke cigarettes in order to not be left out of the peer group”. The survey results also found 12% of our kids had tried smoking by the age of 13, compared to 6% nationally. This result is consistent with e-cigarette usage, with 8.8% of our kids trying e-cigarettes by the age of 13 compared to 3.8% nationally. The negative health and financial impacts of smoking are well known, The ads are everywhere, and you only have to see the price of a single packet of smokes to figure out how much a lifetime habit might cost, Nicotine is addictive and it can be a tough habit to break, so how do we empower kids to make informed choices about smoking? The Planet Youth model shows three key things that DO work are education, community involvement and support for kids to encourage them to make informed choices. We can all do this in our everyday life. Kids are inquisitive and that’s good – that’s how they learn, But we can notice that curiosity, pay attention and provide them with information to help them make informed choices. Small choices build lives. The LDAT are working to connect and educate the community around the issues of youth drug and alcohol use, It’s all about supporting kids and giving them a space and a face where they can ask questions. You may have seen or heard about LDAT’s most recent event at Lithgow High School, where the whole school were treated to sausage sandwiches and a gig provided by the Lithgow Youth Council to wind down their week, or perhaps you got a chance to bang the drums with LDAT at LithGlow? Headspace Lithgow and LDAT members were on hand at each event to give a face and a voice to places where our youth can go to ask questions. More youth activities are in planning as we build up to our next survey late in 2021- so keep an eye out and get involved, If you want to know more, please feel free to message on FB using planetyouthlithgow or join us for coffee. We catch up for an informal coffee once every six weeks and all are welcome. Please come along and share your thoughts and ideas or just enjoy the coffee and chat. Keep an eye out at @planetyouthlithgow for the next catch up or our next youth event.