Butt out and save thousands

Butt out and save thousandsWe all know that smoking is bad for your health. But have you ever considered how much harm smoking does to your financial position?

As of 1 September 2015, the price of cigarettes in Australia will increase by 12.5 per cent. For someone who smokes a pack a day, they will need to fork out around $7,000 a year to keep their habit going.

Why you should quit

Tobacco smoke contains harmful substances and smoking causes many fatal diseases. In fact, it is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia.

Smoking causes a range of illnesses and diseases, including at least 10 different cancers.

It also contributes to:

  • Cardio-cerebral vascular disease: Heart diseases, stroke, atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral vascular disease.
  • Respiratory diseases: Pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, respiratory symptoms such as coughing and phlegm production.
  • Pregnancy-related diseases: Foetal growth retardation, premature delivery, miscarriage and other complications during pregnancy.
  • Other disorders: Impotence, infertility, osteoporosis, peptic ulcer, ageing of the skin and periodontitis.

Second-hand smoke also impacts those around you and can cause other people to become sick.

There’s no getting around that quitting smoking is the best thing anyone can do for their health.

Why are cigarettes going up?

The price increase on tobacco is a strategy by the Federal Government to reduce smoking rates in Australia. According to figures released by the Cancer Institute of NSW, rising costs of cigarettes led three-quarters of quitters to their decision to quit.

Over one third of current smokers support the price increase, as a way to discourage young people to take up smoking and to encourage current smokers to quit.

Quitting smoking is extremely difficult for most people, but something well worth the effort.

Benefits of quitting

According to QuitNow [i], typical benefits of quitting are:

  • After 12 almost all of the nicotine is out of your system.
  • After 24 hours the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped dramatically. You now have more oxygen in your bloodstream.
  • After 5 days most nicotine by-products have gone.
  • Within days your sense of taste and smell improves.
  • Within a month your blood pressure returns to its normal level and your immune system begins to show signs of recovery.
  • Within 2 months your lungs will no longer be producing extra phlegm caused by smoking.
  • After 12 months your increased risk of dying from heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker.
  • Stopping smoking reduces the incidence and progression of lung disease including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • After 10 years of stopping your risk of lung cancer is less than half that of a continuing smoker and continues to decline (provided the disease is not already present).
  • After 15 years your risk of heart attack and stroke is almost the same as that of a person who has never smoked.

Think about your wallet

With the increased price of cigarettes, focusing on the amount you can save by kicking cigarettes may be an extra incentive.

Save thousands when you butt outBased on pack-per-day habit, you can save:

$7,000 — after the first year = overseas holiday

$21,000 — after 3 years = a new car

$35,000 — after 5 years = a deposit for a house.

So contact the Quitline today on 137848 and take control of your health and your finances.

Further information:

QuitNow http://www.quitnow.gov.au/

[i] Quit Now, Benefits of Quitting, last updated30 May 2012; accessed 31 August 2015, http://www.quitnow.gov.au/internet/quitnow/publishing.nsf/Content/benefits-of-quitting


“One-sided” and “blatant promotion”: Official DAA response to “Sunday Night” story on the Paleo diet (16 August 2015)

No evidence for PaleoFollowing the story of Mike Willesee’s ‘Paleo challenge: the first five weeks’, which aired on Channel 7’s Sunday Night program, on Sunday, 16 August 2015, the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) has responded to what they believe was a “one-sided” and “blatant promotion” of one of the network’s prime time stars, celebrity chef Pete Evans.

Here is their official response in full:

Chief of Staff

Channel 7 – Sunday Night

Dear Madam,

Re: Paleo diet on Sunday Night (16 August 2015)

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) was disappointed to see the story on Mike Willesee’s ‘Paleo challenge: The first five weeks’ given air-time on Channel 7’s Sunday Night program (16 August 2015). This one-sided piece seemed to be a blatant promotion of the personal dietary views of one of the network’s prime time stars, celebrity chef Pete Evans.

Nutrition advice must come from those qualified to provide it
As with any field, it is crucial that those providing advice are qualified to do so. The qualified nutrition professionals in Australia are Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs),who have years of university study behind them, and base decisions and advice on scientific fact. Like other health professionals, APDs are bound by professional standards and accountable for the advice they provide.

Following the Australian Dietary Guidelines = A step in the right direction for many Australians
DAA applauds Mike Willesee resolve to improve his diet. From watching Sunday Night,it appears many aspects of his former diet (such as overdoing sugar-sweetened carbonated drinks) were inconsistent with the recommendations of the Australian
Dietary Guidelines (ADG)*. So regardless of whether he goes the ‘Paleo way’ or not,tweaking these habits will undoubtedly make a difference to his health and weight.

Evidence for the Paleo diet is limited
As Mike rightly points out, his ‘road test’ of the Paleo diet and the outcomes of this are anecdotal – so no match for well-designed scientific studies in nutrition, involving many people. When it comes to the ‘Paleo diet’, there is insufficient good-quality research to support the health benefits often claimed by advocates of the diet. In fact, the Paleo diet has been studied in very few people and certainly not over the long term.

Eliminating grains, legumes and dairy is without scientific basis
DAA acknowledges that there are some good aspects of the Paleo Diet – such as the focus on nutritious, whole foods, which APDs also recommend. However, eliminating grains, legumes and dairy foods is without scientific basis, other than for people with a diagnosed food allergy or intolerance. In addition, demonising certain foods incorrectly suggests these foods are a barrier standing between healthy and unhealthy living. This is overly simplistic and misleading.

Bubba Yum Yum book: Gross under-representation of the issues in Sunday Night interview
Of most concern to DAA from the Sunday Night program was the inaccurate statements relating to the DIY infant formula promoted in the book ‘Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo way for new mums, babies and toddlers’. The very serious concerns raised about Bubba Yum Yum earlier in the year were not mentioned in the Sunday Night interview, and Australian health professional’s well-publicised concerns were essentially dismissed.

So to be clear, the issues included (but were not limited to):

  • The DIY liver and bone broth-based infant formula was promoted in the 0-6 month section of the book, as a sole source of nutrition, along with the statement: ‘(The DIY infant formula) is a wonderful alternative and the next best thing when breast isn’t an option’. This was despite a lack of clinical studies into its safety and efficacy.
  • The high vitamin A content of the DIY infant formula – and this concern still stands. Even though the ‘recipe’ has now been modified in a revised version of the book, it still exceeds the recommended upper limit for vitamin A for babies aged 0-12 months. The formula also lacks carbohydrates, which are required for brain development, and does not mimic the composition of breast milk (despite claiming to do so).
  • A lack of instructions for parents around preparing and storing the formula, and around how much to feed babies.

In providing evidence to publisher Pan MacMillan, DAA and several other health agencies presented compelling data including an analysis of the DIY infant formula recipe by FSANZ and the Food Standards Code. We would like to think that infant safety was the main consideration of the publisher, in deciding not to publish the book, rather than ‘how the big retailers would respond to negative publicity’ surrounding the book (as stated by Pete Evans on Sunday Night).

DAA believes Pete Evens has misrepresented on Sunday Night the reason that the book was not published through Pan Macmillan and we feel compelled to ask that this misrepresentation of the facts be corrected by:

  • Making this letter from DAA available to the public through the Sunday Night website, and
  • Providing an apology and outlining the facts in the follow-up segment (the second part of Mike Willesee’s challenge).

The reasons for withdrawal of the book are summarised above and were well publicised at the time and coincided with other controversial issues regarding celebrities providing dietary advice.

About the Dietitians Association of Australia
DAA is a member-based organisation, representing more than 5,700 of the country’s nutrition and dietetic professionals. DAA and its members provide food and nutrition advice based on scientific research to Australians to help them eat better, and to the Government to help make better policy decisions.

Yours faithfully,
Claire Hewat AdvAPD
Dietitians Association of Australia

* The Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADGs) were developed by independent nutrition experts, based on a review of the evidence in nutrition science, and released by the National Health and Medical Research Council in 2013.

For further information visit: Dietitians Association of Australia