I'm listening to the calls for an Aboriginal Voice to Parliament. My only concern with some of suggestions in the public arena is that we are overlooking an opportunity to recognise all minority groups.
Australia's constitution was written in an era of the White Australia policy. Mistakes were made as a result. The concept of ensuring minority groups have representation against the stronger majority was overlooked.
With the push to address the Uluru Statement of the Heart, we have an opportunity to ensure checks and balances are installed in the constitution.
What I suggest is that these checks and balances, for all minority groups, come in the form of changes to the way bills are brought to the House of Representatives.
I want to see all minority groups have the capacity to provide a statement of impact on all bills tabled that affect them.
I want to see more considered information made available to politicians before they are asked to vote on a topic on which they are unfamiliar.
This World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organisation has declared their theme as 'Tobacco: Threat to our environment', so there's no better time to quit than now - doing your part to help the planet.
Cigarette butts, which contain bioplastics, are the most littered items on the planet, causing lasting toxic pollution and damage to our land, rivers, oceans, and wildlife.
An estimated 4.5 trillion butts are discarded worldwide every year, with nearly 9 billion of those in Australia. Effective tobacco control measures that reduce smoking rates are the only way to prevent both the human and environmental harms caused by tobacco. No matter how long you have smoked, quitting will benefit not just our environment, but your health in both the immediate and long-term future.
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Almost straight away your health will start to improve, and your risk of cancer and other diseases will reduce.
It will also benefit the health of your family and friends (by reducing their exposure to second-hand smoke) and save you money.
The younger you are, and the sooner you stop, the better, but it's never too late to stop smoking.
Even people who quit after the age of 60 can reduce their chance of getting cancer and other diseases. We can help point you in the direction of the support you need.
Many people who smoke need to practice quitting several times before they give up for good. Remember lapses are normal but keep trying and don't give up!
People often quit smoking on their own without support, however extra support can increase your chances of quitting successfully. If you wish to use quit support, choose methods that are safe and suit you.
People who use a combination of pharmacological support (like nicotine replacement therapy or other stop smoking medications) with counselling support (like the NSW Quitline) are most likely to succeed in quitting. Stick with the tried and tested approaches and be very wary of methods or products that seem too good to be true.
No matter what method you use, getting the support you need will improve your chances of success. Remember, you're doing a great thing for your health and your loved ones.
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