28 May 2012
Australian Association of Smoking Cessation Professionals officially launches on eve of World No Tobacco Day
- International expert believes group will save lives of many Australian smokers -
Monday 28 May 2012 –The Australian Association of Smoking Cessation Professionals (AASCP) officially launches at the Brain & Mind Institute in Sydney today, marking a significant milestone in the realisation of optimal smoking cessation practice in Australia just before World No Tobacco Day (Thursday 31 May).
Recognising people who want to give up smoking often require help from a range of healthcare professionals to achieve success, the AASCP works to ensure the general public is able to access Tobacco Treatment Specialists (TTSs) and evidence-based treatment at various smokers clinics around Australia. A TTS can be a psychologist, general practitioner, pharmacist, nurse or drug and alcohol counselor and may work in hospitals, community health centers, medical and dental practices, smoking clinics, telephone quit lines, drug abuse treatment programs and mental health centres.
In tandem, the AASCP aims to promote, facilitate and maintain easy access to clinical papers and smoking cessation lectures for TTSs so they receive correct and up-to-date training, specific to their field.
Professor of Health Psychology at University College London, and Editor in Chief of international journal Addiction, Professor Robert West, was keynote speaker at the AASCP Official Launch and believes the establishment of AASCP will lead to saving Australian lives.
“It is essential that specialists in the field of smoking cessation should be selected, trained and assessed to exacting standards, and establishing the AASCP is a huge leap forward in recognising this. The AASCP will set the scene in Australia for ensuring that those smokers who decide to seek help with stopping get the best possible clinical care; and most lives will be saved by encouraging as many smokers as possible to try to stop using what the evidence tells us is the most effective method possible. The AASCP is a group Australia should be immensely proud of.”
President of the AASCP, Associate Professor Renee Bittoun explains: “First and foremost, the AASCP helps with one of the most preventable causes of disease and death in the country. As a group of TTS’s, we are endeavouring to provide evidence-based treatment to all Australian smokers – a goal that will be realised through up-skilling our colleagues, promoting and disseminating world class research, and acting as a resource for both medical and para-medical professionals, as well as the general public.”
Smoking has an enormous impact on individuals, society and the economy in Australia:
- 15,500 Australians die each year from smoking1 with 50% of regular smokers killed by it2 – this equates to 11.7% of all deaths1,3
- Whilst smoking will cost the average smoker $6,000 a year (pack a day), the cost to society is substantially more at $31.5 billion – double that of alcohol ($15.3 billion) and almost four times that of illicit drugs ($8.2 billion)4
- Smoking results in significant financial cost to Australian businesses linked to the negative impact on workforce labour; this is valued at a staggering $4517.4 million per year, due to the reduction in the size of the workforce and increased absenteeism5
The AASCP website (http://www.aascp.org.au) is a resource for healthcare professionals and the general public, which includes a dedicated ‘Find a TTS’ search function, so people can easily find the TTS nearest to their geographical location in Australia.
“Importantly, and in alignment to the AASCP core principles, our website also includes a ‘report as scam’ submission to expose fraudulent groups making unsubstantiated claims about success,” commented Associate Professor Bittoun.
Healthcare professionals seeking more information about AASCP including membership should phone the National Office on (02) 9351 0816 or email email@example.com.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT The Australian Association of Smoking Cessation Professionals (AASCP)
The aim of the AASCP is the promotion of optimal smoking cessation practice in Australia by trained health professionals incorporating evidence-based practice with an ongoing learning objective. For more information visit: http://www.aascp.org.au
ABOUT WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY (World Health Organisation)
World No Tobacco Day is celebrated around the world every year on 31 May and ‘tobacco industry interference’ is the theme for 2012. This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do. http://www.who.int/tobacco
- Begg S, Vos T, Barker B. The burden of disease and injury in Australia 2003. Canberra: AIHW, 2007. Report No: AIHW cat. no. PHE 82.
- Doll R, Peto R, Boreham J et al. Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years’ observations on male British doctors. BMJ 2004
- ABS Deaths in Australia 2003 3
- Collins DJ, Lapsley HM. The cost of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use. 2008
- Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH [editors]. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and Issues. Third Edition. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria; 2008