Cancer Council WA has provided $5000 worth of stop smoking medication products to assist the homeless who smoke who are now VIP guests at Pan Pacific Perth due to COVID-19.
Cancer Council WA CEO Ashley Reid said the initiative, in partnership with Homeless Healthcare and the new Hotels With Heart project, ensures VIP guests are getting all the right support during these challenging times.
"People who are experiencing homelessness have a very high rate of smoking, (between 80-90%) so without access to cigarettes, people who smoke will experience symptoms of nicotine withdrawal within hours particularly those who smoke heavily," Mr Reid said.
"Given the need for social distancing measures during COVID-19 pandemic, smoking may not be possible as often or if at all.
"To assist people to have the best health possible during this challenging time, Cancer Council WA is providing quit support to VIP guests accommodated through Hotels With Hearts initiative."
Mr Reid said $5000 worth of stop smoking medications including nicotine patches, gums, lozenges, mouth spray and inhalators will be provided as well as behavioural support.
"All homeless guests will also be referred to the Quitline to have access to telephone based behavioural support," Mr Reid said.
"They will be assessed for their need of quit smoking support and regularly followed up to ensure they are well looked after.
"Quitting smoking in the long run will not only improve their health but also put money back in their pockets during this difficult economic period.
"Cancer Council WA believes smoking is a social justice issue and everyone should have access to quit information and support so we are so proud to be part of a taskforce that can assist our most vulnerable during this difficult time."
Dr Andrew Davies, Medical Director, Homeless Healthcare agrees.
"People who are homeless have one of the highest smoking rates in Australia, yet often have least access to supportive environments to quit. We are very grateful to the Cancer Council WA for providing vital cessation support to help ease the challenges of nicotine withdrawal and assist people to quit successfully," Dr Davies said.
*only VIP guests experiencing homelessness will be offered stop smoking support
To access support through a quit attempt:
- Contact the Quitline:
- Call the Quitline on 13 7848
- Chat online at quitlinewa.org.au or
- Request a call back by texting 0477 765 007
- Download MyQuitBuddy app
- Visit makesmokinghistory.org.au
- Seek advice and support from your GP, Aboriginal Health Worker or pharmacist
- Visit quitcoach.org.au/
To find out more, visit Make Smoking History Community Services program.