December 4, 2018

Butt Out is a quit smoking project that targets Arabic-speaking communities in the St George region of Sydney. Its goal is to reduce the high levels of smoking in these communities by developing and delivering smoking prevention awareness strategies and practices that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.

In 2017, Advance Diversity Services (ADS) received an Innovations in Cancer Control Grant from the Cancer Institute NSW to implement this two-stage project over two years.

In February 2018, ADS completed stage one, which targeted the Chinese-speaking community. We are now developing stage two, which aims to reach Arabic speakers in the region who smoke, and empower them to quit.

Butt Out’s Arabic project worker, Hana Srour, and the project’s steering committee members have conducted a range of media interviews in Arabic to raise the awareness of the harms of the smoking. They have also actively promoted quitline services like iCanQuit and the NSW Quitline number 13 7848 (13 QUIT).

SBS Arabic radio interviews
In her first SBS Arabic radio interview on April 24, 2018, Ms Srour spoke about the prevalence of smoking among Arabic men living in the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. She revealed that around 41.7 per cent of Arabic men in the region smoked as compared with 14.7 per cent of the general population. Ms Srour also translated much of the information about the project from English into Arabic to ensure she could more easily answer the interviewer’s questions.

Listen to the first interview here.

In her second interview with SBS Arabic radio on September 4, 2018, Ms Srour raised and reinforced awareness in Arabic-speaking communities of the harms of smoking. She also promoted Quitline’s services, support and contact number.

Listen to the second interview here.

Resources

• A good resource to help Arabic people understand the harmful effects of smoking is the booklet (in Arabic and English) Please don’t smoke near me.
• A video in Arabic outlining methods for quitting can be found here.
• Watch the video of Seham Gerges being interviewed by Aghapy TV about useful strategies for quitting smoking here.

Efforts rewarded
On August 5, Ms Srour was awarded a plaque at the Arncliffe Aurora Football Club community dinner to recognise her excellent work in the Arabic community to help stamp out tobacco use.

Anthony Scerri, Program Manager for ADS’ Settlement and Community Services Program, said ADS is proud of Ms Srour’s achievements relating to Butt Out. He is also confident stage two of the project will help many people recognise smoking is unhealthy and help them quit.

– For more information please email [email protected]