Are you struggling with wanting to give up smoking but finding it just too difficult?
A new trial offering support to people in rural and regional NSW is now targeting residents of Byron Shire and surrounding areas.
Emma Byrnes, who is a research assistant on the University of Newcastle based study, said Byron was chosen because it has a persistently higher percentage of smokers than the country as a whole.
Almost 20 per cent of Byron residents compared to the national average of just over 16 per cent, she said.
The new data is based on Australian Heart Foundation mapping.
‘People living in rural and regional towns face many barriers to healthcare,’ Ms Byrnes said, ‘and this includes smoking cessation support.’
‘We are aware that smoking cessation may be more difficult for rural and regional people based on their geographical location, access to health facilities and cost.
‘This randomised control trial is determined to remove these barriers and provide cessation support via video, telephone or written platforms, at no cost to participants,’ Ms Byrnes said.
The study is the first of its kind, and provides real-time video counselling delivered via Skype, FaceTime or Facebook Messenger to smokers in their homes.
It is being supervised by the School of Medicine and Public Health’s Dr Flora Tzelepis.