Creating a healthier, better connected Gippsland.

Smoking Cessation

Gippsland has the highest current smoking prevalence of all Victorian regions (20%) while in Latrobe City 24% of adults smoke daily or occasionally. These local smoking rates are significantly higher than the Victorian prevalence of 13% 1.

1 Department of Health and Human Services. Victorian Population Health Survey, 2014

While a substantial proportion of people living in Gippsland have stopped smoking (26%), the proportion of people who are ex-smokers in Latrobe City (23%) is one of the lowest in Victoria3.

Project within the Smoking Cessation area in the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone: Early Detection and Screening including Tobacco program will aim to:

For support and advice about quitting, see your GP or call the National Quitline on 13 78 48 (13 QUIT) or visit the Quit website.

Research with Latrobe Smokers

Latrobe Valley smokers were consulted to understand what the community wants, how they would like to receive it and the best way to encourage the community to be smoke free.

Pitch to Quit

Pitch to Quit 2018

The Pitch to Quit competition was first ran in 2018, were in only a few short months the competition rapidly shared the quit smoking message with more than 40,000 people across the Latrobe Valley community in an interesting, innovative and creative way.
Latrobe Valley community members were asked to develop a Pitch, creating an idea that would encourage people to make the first step to Quit.
From the submissions, the expert judging panel found five clear standout pitches, each of the five pitches were financially supported to be produced and uploaded to Facebook. In the 16 days that the videos were online there were over 24,000 video views and over 41,000 people were reached through Facebook. The five finalists’ videos were:

The winning video for the 2018 competition was ‘It’s Time’ with more than 5,000 views via Facebook.

Pitch to Quit 2020/2021

In May 2020, Gippsland PHN launched the Pitch to Quit 2020 competition inviting Latrobe community members, with or without graphic design or media experience, to pitch a concept for a localised community facing Quit smoking media campaign.

Entrants developed and submitted a localised quit smoking cessation media pitch where finalists participated in a workshop with industry leaders to refine their campaign. Judges’ Shout Out Awards were presented to some pitches while Traralgon’s own, Grady Just, was awarded as having the winning pitch. Grady has worked with a local production company to make his pitch come to life.

Head to our Facebook page below for updates on the winner and sneak peaks into the winning campaign concept. The final winning campaign was held on 15 March 2021.

Pharmacy Project

Gippsland PHN in partnership with Quit Victoria is currently implementing a pharmacy-based project aiming to increase smoking cessation, with a focus on best practice utilisation of nicotine replacement therapy and utilising the role of a pharmacist in a smoking cessation attempt.

The aim of the project is to build the knowledge and capacity of pharmacists and pharmacy assistants to deliver best-practice smoking cessation care, with an added focus on increasing pharmacists’ confidence in providing advice and information to customers with conditions where smoking directly increases risk or harm, including Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Pregnancy. Selected conditions were identified through consultations with Latrobe Pharmacists.

This project enables participating pharmacists and pharmacy staff to deliver smoking cessation support, through the 3-step Brief Advice Model. Online training modules and tailored training by Quit Victoria has been delivered via webinar and provision of support resources.

A community facing campaign ‘Support that Suits You – Talk to your Pharmacists about quitting smoking’ has been developed and endorsed by Quit Victoria in which Pharmacies will display within their pharmacy setting to support the services offered.

Smoking Cessation Clinic

As a response to the high rate of smokers in Latrobe, Gippsland PHN funded the MMResearch Smoking Cessation, qualitative research of current smokers in Latrobe. The findings from the research precipitated the investigation of a face to face Smoking Support Service in Latrobe.

The research findings highlighted that among other supports, there is a desire for group support programs through which people could regularly interact with others who were quitting and a drop-in centre where people could access information, advice, support and counselling services.

Gippsland PHN, under the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone: Early Detection and Screening program, including tobacco, supported the investigation of establishing a face-to-face model for smoking cessation support in Latrobe by:

  • Facilitating a series of three workshops over the months April – May 2019 with key project stakeholders to shape the model for the Latrobe community. The workshops identified a preferred provider in Latrobe Community Health Service (LCHS) and various key considerations for the development of the model.
  • Gippsland PHN also commissioned community focus groups with Latrobe Valley smokers to obtain feedback and test the model proposed by LCHS, during March 2020. Findings of the research found that communicating that the proposed clinic can assist an individual with either reducing or stopping smoking was valued, as it demonstrated the personalised and tailored nature of the service proposed by Latrobe Community Health Service.

In response to the community consultation LCHS have designed a model for a face-to-face smoking cessation support service. The LCHS face to face Smoking Cessation Support Service will be piloted 2021.