Reducing tobacco related harm

BCH CEO Garry Ellis, along with other health leaders across Victoria, are actively supporting the campaign to reduce tobacco-related harm.

Below is his reflection on the importance of Bellarine Community Health and other health services working in this space.

While Australia has been proactive in reducing tobacco use, it remains one of the leading causes of preventable illness. Through our health promotion and prevention work, which is aimed at ensuring positive health outcomes for the Bellarine Peninsula, Bellarine Community Health (BCH) has developed a strong understanding of the importance of minimising harm and prioritising tobacco-free living.

E-cigarette use is one of the biggest emerging public health issues. These products are increasingly being used by Australians, particularly younger adults. Our staff are working both internally and externally to support our community to navigate this issue. We have heard directly from our communities about their concerns about the increase in e-cigarette use and access in the local area.

We have been recognised by the Cancer Council Victoria Achievements Program for reaching the Tobacco, Alcohol & other Drugs benchmark. We have used this framework to upskill staff about cessation services, provide professional development and access to reputable information, and updated our signage and policies. We are using our media platforms to communicate accurate information about cigarettes and e-cigarettes to the wider community and to promote cessation services.

We work with local schools to support their needs, including assistance with policy development, signage updates, communication of relevant information, professional development and curriculum ideas.
In addition, we actively contribute to the G21 Regional E-Cigarette & Tobacco Network which upscales and enhances localised work to a population level.

With support from DFFH, VicHealth and Quit Victoria, BCH will continue to prioritise Tobacco Free Living.

You can read statements from other health leaders on the Quit website HERE.

Find out more about the important work being done by our Healthy and Connected Communities team HERE.

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