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Smoke Bans Deter Young

Article from: Herald Sun Australia – Grant McArthur

February 15, 2008 12:00am

BANS in pubs and clubs have helped reduce the number of young smokers by 30 per cent in the past year.

The number of 18-29 year olds smoking dropped from 26.2 per cent in 2006, to 18.6 per cent in 2007, figures released by Quit Victoria revealed yesterday.

Smoking was banned in Victoria’s 7000 pubs, clubs, gaming rooms and cigar bars on July 1 last year.

Overall, the number of Victorians smoking has dropped from 21.3 per cent in 1998, to 17.3 per cent last year.

But tobacco is still responsible for 4000 deaths in Victoria each year and costs the health system $5 billion annually, prompting a graphic new advertising campaign to further lower smoking rates.

A new ad will hit TV screens this weekend, centring on the whistling noise of a woman breathing — the sound of air passing around a tumour as it tries to enter her lungs.

It is a noise Associate Professor David Ball from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre hears all too often. “I’ve seen cancers the size of grapefruit in lungs and the person is not aware of it being there,” he said. “Approximately 11 per cent of patients will survive five years and that compares with an overall 60 per cent survival for all cancers. “The human stories I see occur in people who may have given up smoking 20 or 30 years ago, but because of lifestyle choice they made then they are now afflicted by a disease, which in most instances is fatal.”

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