SMOKING SUMMIT: Local General Practitioner Dr Joan Chamberlain gave a speech at a smoking summit in Rockhampton yesterday.
SMOKING SUMMIT: Local General Practitioner Dr Joan Chamberlain gave a speech at a smoking summit in Rockhampton yesterday. Sean Fox

How doctors can help CQ's smokers quit

ROCKHAMPTON general practitioner Dr Joan Chamberlain is a woman on a mission.

She wants to provide her smoking patients the help they need to increase their health.

Dr Chamberlain has found quitting was not usually something her patients verbalised, but, she said, some of them considered the idea.

"It is often up to us GPs to try and tease it out for them and see if they are ready, if they have been thinking about it and see what help they need,” Dr Chamberlain said.

"Almost every part of our body is affected when we smoke so something that we want to achieve is help people to come away from their smoking.”

The Rockhampton doctor was one of the guest speakers at CQ Health's 10,000 Lives Project, a smoking summit which was held at Callaghan Park in Rockhampton on Wednesday.

Dr Chamberlain joined other health professionals to give her perspective on the impacts of smoking on general practice.

The aim was to decrease smoking rates throughout Central Queensland and encourage 17,000 people to quit or choose not to start.

Dr Chamberlain said the aim of the summit was not only to decrease death rates but also the health implications that came with it.

"It tends to clog up the arteries to your limbs so you have a greater chance of losing toes or fingers or legs,” she said.

Dr Chamberlain said smoking rates have dropped because of factors such as legislation to ban smoking in particular public places.

"You have to change the culture within the community to understand that smoking is no longer a healthy or a beneficial thing,” she said.

"As you go out socially, that is reinforced as well.”

Dr Chamberlain said she was thrilled that 60% of young people between 14 and 30 years of age have never smoked.

"We just want to continue that process forward,” Dr Chamberlain said.



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