Grants support Canberrans to quit smoking

31 May 2020

The ACT Government has announced the latest round of Healthy Canberra Grants on World No Tobacco day. Almost $900,000 will be provided to three exceptional community programs to tackle smoking-related harm in the ACT.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the grants are an important part of the ACT Government’s determination to deliver better health outcomes through preventative means and to improve the health of all Canberrans.

“Tobacco-related illness is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in Australia and that’s why the ACT Government is focusing on programs that help to stop people smoking in the first place and support people to quit smoking.

“There are specific population groups across Canberra for whom smoking rates are alarmingly high, these include people with mental illness, people in detention, and people with alcohol and drug dependence.

“The three community organisations funded through these new grants have the strategies and tools to target these groups and to make a difference to peoples’ lives for the longer term,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

The successful grant recipients are:

  • Directions Health Services, which will receive $289,591 over the next three years for its Butt it Out! smoking support program for people with alcohol and other drug dependency and comorbid mental illness.
  • The Worldview Foundation, which will receive $325,696 for their Pre-Release Non-Indigenous Supplement along with Post-Release Activity Support program that will target 50 detainees at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. This will be an extension of their existing Smoke, Booze and Drug Free Prison pre and post-release program that works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees.
  • The Cancer Council ACT, which will receive $284,000 for its Tackling Tobacco program to address smoking in disadvantaged communities in partnership with not-for-profit community sector organisations, to increase their capacity to support people to stop smoking.

Reducing risky behaviour, including smoking, is a key priority of the Healthy Canberra: ACT Preventive Health Plan 2020-2025. The Plan recognises the vital role community groups and non-government organisations play in providing targeted programs through their understanding of the specific needs of their clients.

“By harnessing the expertise of community organisations and the existing relationships they have with their clients, we can effectively reach the people these grants seek to benefit.

“Ultimately our aim is to help lower the burden of preventable chronic disease in our community and the Healthy Canberra Grants go a long way in helping us achieve this goal,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Quote attributable to Cancer Council ACT CEO Sandra Turner:

“This is an exciting opportunity for Cancer Council ACT, as the ‘Tackling Tobacco in the ACT’ program will allow us to reach a greater number of people in disadvantaged groups, where smoking rates are higher than the average.

“The Tackling Tobacco in the ACT program will allow us to enhance our capability to reach smokers in priority populations, by working with the agencies that deliver services to this community.

“Receiving this Healthy Canberra Grant will allow us to expand our tobacco control service to the areas that are most in need in the ACT.”