Guest Blogger

Theresa Paterson – On the road again

Tar jar

Last week, I set off on the road again to regional Victoria with my colleague Cherie Waight, Senior Project Officer of the Palliative Care  program.

We visited some of the local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and met with the local Koori Mental Health Liaison Worker’s in Shepparton and then stopped in for a yarn with Kevan Horder, Tobacco Action Worker at Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative .

Kevan then showed me some of the resources he uses to educate community on the dangers of smoking.  Do you know how much tar is contained in a packet of smokes?  Check out the tar- jar (see photo). This was by far the MOST disgusting thing I have seen but I still couldn’t help but take a photo! Another resource he showed me, was a cardboard cut-out of a woman who has one lung of a smoker and the other of a non-smoker. The difference is that a smoker’s lung is riddled with tar and with that amount will cause emphysema and cancer. Seeing all this certainly helped me to put things into perspective – the fact that smoking can cause real damage to your lungs even if you can’t see it…and so far this has been the most visually strong way to demonstrate this.

Being on the road was a great way for me to reflect and know that my body is in the stage of ‘repairing’ itself for a better and healthier me.  I’m proud of myself for being smoke-free and that I’ve put a stop to letting these nasty chemicals enter my body. I love seeing our local communities getting behind us and wanting to support those who want to QUIT! The help is out there. If you feel you can’t do it alone, contact your local Aboriginal Health Service (ACCHOs), No Smokes or the Quitline and they will be able to give you advice on where to start.

Theresa :)

Q&A with February guest blogger Theresa Paterson
Blog 1: Theresa Paterson – ‘Why I followed through on my decision to quit’
Blog 2: Theresa Paterson – Staying Positive
Blog 3: Theresa Paterson – On the road again
Blog 4: Theresa Paterson – The slip up!
Blog 5- Three months smoke-free! 


“Theresa is a 24 year old Aboriginal woman from Darwin, who now works in Melbourne. She has been a smoker for 9 years and has now been quit for over 6 weeks.”

You can follow Theresa’s quit journey though her blog during February and the first few weeks of March.