September 13, 2016

QUIT4october Massive Artwork to Stub Out Smoking

Lung Foundation Australia is encouraging smokers to turn their cigarettes into public art as they try to stub out the habit.

Sydney smokers are being asked to put their unused cigarettes into a 20160913_084838new massive public art statue as part of QUIT4octoberTM, a month long quit campaign which aims to encourage people to give up their cigarettes with the help of a health professional.

The light-hearted approach is designed to help overcome the stigma of smoking and to encourage people seek the help and support of family, friends and their health professional to quit.

Lung Foundation Australia CEO, Heather Allan, said that quitting smoking was one of the best things you could do for your health, regardless of how old you are or how long you’ve been smoking.

“Stopping smoking decreases the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke and chronic disease,”[1] Mrs Allan said.

A recent Galaxy Poll report revealed there remains a strong public stigma toward smokers in Australia with more than one in three Australians (35 per cent) believing  people who have lung disease deserve less support if they have brought it upon themselves by smoking[2].

“Quitting smoking can be a lonely and isolating journey. People should be encouraged for making the effort to quit rather than criticised for having smoked in the first place,” Mrs Allan said.

“That’s why QUIT4october focuses on providing support for people starting their quit journey, whether it is their first or their fiftieth attempt,” she said.

“We want people to know they are not alone and we, and their health professional, are there for them.”

Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Associate Professor, Colin Mendelsohn said that vast majority of people (3-5 per cent) who attempt to quit cold turkey – are not successful.

Research shows that quitting is far more successful for those smokers that use health professional support and stop-smoking medication.”

Associate Professor Mendelsohn said “If people who smoke work with their health professional to achieve their goal of being smoke free for 31 days, they will be at least five times more likely to become a permanent ex-smoker”.[3]

Throughout September, Australians are being called on to encourage friends and family who smoke to seek support from health professionals and to join QUIT4october which starts on Saturday 1 October 2016.

Dedicated to helping people quit smoking with the support of their health professional, people wanting to quit smoking should visit to gather information about quitting smoking, take an online lung health check or download a checklist to support their conversations with their GP or pharmacist.

The QUIT4october program is championed by Lung Foundation Australia and proudly supported by Pfizer Australia, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, National Asthma Council Australia and Australian Association Smoking Cessation Professionals.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Tanya West 0406 907 845 Email:

Daniella Goldberg Tel: 0416 211 067 Email:

Notes to Editors: 

About QUIT4october™

QUIT4october is a month-long initiative dedicated to helping people quit smoking with the support of their healthcare professional. People who smoke can visit to download information resources and register their participation to receive emails or texts messages of support. The campaign will be promoted via traditional and social media in addition to local community events at certain locations to encourage people to support the initiative.

Stop Smoking – The Facts

  • About three million Australians (or about 16 per cent) aged 14 or older continue smoke, with about 13 per cent smoking tobacco daily.[4]
  • According to recent research, 75 per cent of smokers want to quit[5] but only 3 to 5 per cent of unassisted quit attempts are successful compared to up to 25 per cent of those attempts that use the support from their local doctor, pharmacist, tobacco treatment specialist or other counsellors.
  • For every year you continue to smoke after 35 you shorten your life expectancy by three months.[6]
  • If you quit smoking at 40 years of age, you gain nine years of life and, at 60, you gain four years.[7]
  • Your risk of a heart attack falls by half three to four years after quitting.[8]
  • The average weight gain after quitting is only two to three kilograms over a five year period[9] however one in five quitters actually loses weight.[10]
  • If you quit smoking a pack of cigarettes a day you are likely to save more than $6,500 per year.[11]


[1] US Department of Health and Human Services.  The health benefits of smoking cessation.  A report of the Surgeon General.  DHHS Publication No CDC 90-8416.  Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public 1 Health Service, Centres for Disease Control, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 1990.

[2] Attitudes to lung health, Galaxy Poll for Lung Foundation Australia, December 2015.

[3]  West R., Stapleton J. Clinical and public health significance of treatments to aid smoking cessation. Eur Respir Rev 2008; 17: 110, 199–204. DOI: 10.1183/09059180.00011.

[4]Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013.Drug statistics series no. 28. Cat. no. PHE 183. Canberra: AIHW.

[5] Mullins R., Borland R. Do smokers want to quit? Aust N Z J Public Health 1996; 20(4):426-7.

[6]Doll R, Peto R, Boreham J, Sutherland I. Mortality in relation to smocking: 50 years’ observations on male British doctors. BMJ. 2004; 328(7455): 1519.

[7]Teo KK, Ounpuu S, Hawken S, et al. Tobacco use and risk of myocardial infarction in 52 countries in the INTERHEART study: a case-control study. Lancet. 2006; 368(9536): 647-658.

[8] Teo KK, Ounpuu S, Hawken S, et al. Tobacco use and risk of myocardial infarction in 52 countries in the INTERHEART study: a case-control study. Lancet. 2006; 368(9536): 647-658.

[9] Tian J, Venn A, Otahal P, Gall S. The association between quitting smoking and weight gain: a systemic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Obes Rev. 2015.

[10] Aubin HJ, Farley A, Lycett D, et al. Weight gain in smokers after quitting cigarettes: meta-analysis. BMJ. 2012; 345: e4439.

[11] Accessed September 2015