It’s that time of year when many people add ‘quit smoking’ to their list of New Year’s resolutions.
Western District Health Service (WDHS) is taking part in a project with Quit Victoria to provide better smoking cessation support for patients – including a more routine referral process to Quitline and nicotine replacement therapy during hospital stays.
WDHS Chief Executive, Rohan Fitzgerald says that while the new year is often when people think about making a fresh start, research shows that it can be better to wait until the holidays are over and normal routines have resumed.
“It’s much easier to change habits when you can build them around a predictable and consistent routine,” he said.
“However this is a great time to start making a plan around how you are going to do it, and the Quitline counsellors are the absolute experts in helping you do that.”
Quit Victoria Director, Dr Sarah White says while quitting smoking can be difficult for some people, every attempt is another step towards understanding the addiction and triggers and brings you closer to being a non-smoker.
“Not everyone succeeds the first, second, or even third time they try to quit, but it’s important to give it another go. In most parts of Victoria – including the Southern Grampians – there are now more former smokers than current smokers, so we know that quitting smoking is absolutely do-able”, she said.
Smoking status has been a standard question in health services for many years, but from mid-January, anyone identifying as a smoker at any WDHS campus will also be offered advice on the benefits of quitting, and given the option of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to keep them more comfortable during their stay. Clients will also be offered a referral to specialist counselling through Quitline.
“The research shows us that healthcare workers play an incredibly important role in supporting people who smoke to take that first step.
“If you’re not ready to quit yet, that’s okay. But if you are, we now have a process in place to help give you the very best chance of success,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
To have a chat to a Quitline counsellor, even if you’re not quite ready to quit, call 13 78 48 or visit www.quit.org.au and request a call back.