Tracey Greenberg, Cessation Trainer from NSW Ministry of Health, said the program is an initiative of the NSW Ministry of Health in partnership with NSW Kids and Families.
“The objective is to support pregnant Aboriginal women and members of their household to quit smoking during the pre-natal and post-natal periods and to remain smoke-free,” said Ms Greenberg.
“The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) will roll out and implement the program locally over the next three years (2013-2016),” said Christine Sullivan, Cessation Support Leader with the NNSW LHD.
Quit for New Life Cessation Support Officers will follow-up with the pregnant mum to help her with her Quit attempt.
“The women will be referred to the NSW Quitline, provided with ongoing smoking cessation care and if clinically appropriate, provided free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) through a voucher system. Household members are also able to receive the free NRT after they are assessed by the Cessation Support staff,” Ms Sullivan advised.
Mothers and household members can take their voucher to the local Pharmacy to receive their NRT and once they are enrolled in the Quit for New Life program, both the mother and household family members are entitled to 12 weeks free supply of NRT.
Letitia Kelly is a local woman who had been a ‘social smoker’ for over ten years. Whilst employed as a police woman and working shift work, her smoking habit increased. She says she found it difficult working night shifts and she struggled with the irregular hours required in the police profession.
Letitia changed jobs to work in the health industry and watched another worker support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to quit smoking. She saw the change in community members who were able to quit and recognised the benefits of giving up the smokes.
When she fell pregnant with her son, she joined the local quit smoking program. Letitia says she was concerned about the dangers of smoking and the effects that would have on her unborn baby. Letitia gave up smoking with the support of the local Bugalwena Quit Smoking Program and credits the staff for helping her achieve a smoke free lifestyle.