PHOTOS: More help to quit smoking

A NEW coffee table book, The Founding 50, has been launched adding to a pool of resources to support Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Services' quit smoking program Puyu Wanti.

The Founding 50 is a group of committed community members who have joined forces to stop smoking in the community by sharing their own stories.

The Puyu Wanti program launched the Founding 50 in July 2012, inviting local smokers, non-smokers and former smokers to tell their stories to encourage others to quit or make the decision not to start smoking.

These stories were put together in a book, which was launched on Wednesday, December 11.

The first 15 of what will become the Founding 50 were Iris Burgoyne, Avril Miller, Allan Wilson, Olive Roderick (deceased), Jack Johncock, Dean Miller, Vincent Nelson, Peggy Larking, Whitney Clements, Sharon Waye-Hill, Judith Borg, Mark Larking, Ronald Carbine, Robert Varcoe and Maryanne Clements.

Apart from the book there have been television advertisements, billboards, stickers and magnets to reinforce the Founding 50's message.

Maryanne Clements took over as the new tobacco action worker at Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service two weeks ago and has already seen six clients who are keen to quit smoking.

She said the television advertisements in particular had had a big impact on getting people in the community to talk about it.

"The community and a lot of young people are getting the message 'smoking is no good for me'," Mrs Clements said.

Mrs Clements, who was one of the Founding 50 herself, said she was proud to be part of it and grateful to the others who had agreed to participate for their input.

"It can be very hard for Aboriginal people to tell their stories about these things."

In her role she will also be looking for the next group to join the Founding 50.

Former tobacco action worker Christina Lake said having local faces fronting the campaign was an important factor in its success.

"The community has someone to look up to who can help them (quit), who's done it before."

The Founding 50 stories will be used to support a range of community programs and when they take the Puyu Wanti program into schools to show students real examples of what smoking can do to their health.

Mrs Clements said it was all about keeping the program moving forward and maintaining a presence in the community.

The book will be available to look at from Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service and the Port Lincoln Library.

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