Indigenous bloggers start conversations about smoking
The power of blogging is being used in an innovative way by national anti-smoking campaign, No Smokes.
A rotation of Indigenous guest bloggers is featured each month on the No Smokes website, with bloggers sharing stories about quitting and smoking.
The No Smokes Guest Blog creates conversations that empower and inspire people to make healthier choices, and provides a place where people can share quit tips and provide support and encouragement.
Sekur Clayton, a 19-year-old woman originally from Darwin, recently blogged about the things that influenced her to start smoking at age 13.
“Growing up, my mother and one older brother were the only adults that I knew that didn’t smoke. Everyone else did,” Sekur wrote in her blog.
“At the time (I started smoking), I thought that I would always be in control of my habit because I could choose when I wanted a smoke. I didn’t think twice about what I was getting myself into,” she said.
Sekur shared her story with other young people in the hope that her blog might make them think about the consequences of their choices.
“My nieces and nephews are very important to me; I don’t want them to pick up smoking, I don’t want them to feel persuaded into doing something they might think is cool.”
Among Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, smoking causes one out of every five deaths; and more than half of Australia’s Indigenous people smoke – compared with just 20 per cent of non-Indigenous Australians.
The No Smokes campaign, which is a project of the Menzies School of Health Research, was developed with the help of young Indigenous Australians, teachers and health workers, supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.
The campaign contributes to Closing the Gap in Indigenous health outcomes by empowering young people to make the decision to quit smoking, or never to start in the first place.