Apunipima is holding events across 10 Cape York communities this week to celebrate World No Tobacco Day which falls on May 31.
A range of communities will hold tobacco education displays, tobacco education sessions and morning teas over the next few days while the community of Mossman Gorge will hold an afternoon event on Wednesday featuring tobacco education displays and sessions, traditional games and sporting and cultural activities followed by a healthy BBQ. The Lockhart River and Mapoon Men’s Groups will hold a special men’s camp on the weekend, focusing on tobacco education, healthy living and cultural activities.
Frank’s Challenge, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander anti-smoking comic developed by Apunipima and students from Djarragun College, will be launched by Tobacco and Healthy Lifestyles Team Leader Mario Assan at Apunipima’s Cairns office at 10 am on Thursday. Representatives from the Skytrans Cairns Taipans and Djarragun College students will attend the launch.
‘World No Tobacco Day allows us to shine a light on the high rates of smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Cape York,’ Mr Assan said.
‘Australia - wide, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are more than twice as likely as the non-Indigenous population to be daily smokers. 2009 figures indicate that 27 out of every 100 adults in Cape York smoke, compared with 15 in Queensland and 18 in Australia. Even more worryingly, seven out of every 10 pregnant women on the Cape smoke compared to five in Queensland and two in Australia.’
‘Apunipima’s goal is to reduce the general smoking rate on Cape York by 15 percent and the antenatal smoking rate by 25 % by 2018. We are committed to educating Cape York people about the dangers of smoking and helping to Close the Gap by reducing the rates of smoking on the Cape.’