People accessing community, health and corrective services make up a large proportion of the 230,000 Western Australians who still smoke tobacco.
Nobody should live in poverty, be socially excluded or die early because of tobacco. Many people accessing these services face circumstances that make it more likely that they will smoke and harder for them to quit.
If they continue to smoke, they are more at risk of intergenerational poverty and poor health. This can then reduce their capacity to overcome obstacles, therefore feeding the cycle of disadvantage and deprivation.
To improve people’s health and wellbeing, we need to consider all aspects that contribute to social and financial disadvantage. Tobacco must be a part of the conversation.
“People should be rehabilitated for not just their mental health but their physical health as well.” - Male smoker accessing an AOD service in Perth
“It's been a dream of mine to go travel …I’d like to go to the Indian Pacific and go over east and do all the stuff, but if I'm a smoker it's going to limit me.” - Male smoker accessing a mental health service in Perth
The good news is that research finds people want to reduce and quit smoking regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances, with concerns about money and health being the main drivers. However, we understand people sometimes experience additional barriers which makes it harder for them to reduce and quit.
We can help people experiencing disadvantage by creating supportive environments and improving access to appropriate and tailored support. These are important ways to help reduce smoking rates in priority groups.
Join us to ensure everyone, regardless of their circumstances has a chance to improve their health and wellbeing.