Smoking is the largest single preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. There are around 19,000 tobacco caused deaths each year. That’s 52 a day1.
Every month Australian tobacco companies lose at least 12,000 customers. About 12,500 quit and 1,600 die of diseases caused by smoking.
Latest data (2001) from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows 21.1% of Australians over 14 are smoking at least weekly. 80% of them have tried to quit at least once. Within the last twelve months 30.8% of smokers have tried to stop.
A twenty-a-day smoker, aged 30, who started smoking at around 16 has already breathed a kilo of tar into their lungs.
Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, many of which are highly toxic and over 40 of which are known to cause cancer. There is no safe ‘low tar’ cigarette and no safe level of smoking.
Male smokers may produce less sperm and their sperm may have more abnormalities than that of non-smokers. Women who smoke are more likely to have a miscarriage2. Several studies have found that women who smoke have decreased fertility. Of these, one study has found that smokers have about 72% of the fertility of non-smokers3.
A smoker is 10 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Heavy smokers are 15 to 25 times more at risk than non-smokers4. 85% of all male cases and 77% of female cases of lung cancer are related to smoking5.
Smoking reduces life expectancy by 7 – 8 years. That means, each cigarette shortens the life of the smoker by around 8 minutes.
Women smokers who use the pill increase their risk of a heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases by about ten times6.
Over 57,000 reports worldwide have examined the link between cigarette smoking and disease, making it the most researched cause of disease ever investigated in the history of Biomedical Research7.
- What Other Adverse Effects Does Tobacco Have on Health?
- Smoking and Women. Facts 2009
- China uses enlarged health warnings on cigarette packs