Tobacco smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. 1 Each year smoking claims the lives of around 15,500 Australians. 2
The ACT currently has the lowest smoking rate in the country at 9.5%. However, smoking remains as the leading contributor to the burden of disease in the ACT . 5
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals and at least 69 are known to cause cancer. When you inhale cigarette smoke, the toxins go everywhere your blood flows, causing disease in nearly every organ of the body, at every stage of life. 3
More than 10,000 Australians are diagnosed with a smoking-related cancer each year and around 1 in 5 cancer deaths can be attributed to smoking. 4
Lung cancer is the most common cancer caused by smoking. However, smoking can also cause cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach, colon and rectum, liver, pancreas, voice box, cervix, bladder, kidney, ureter and bone marrow. 3
The good news is: quitting smoking will have health benefits for you now and in the future regardless of how long you have smoked. Quitting smoking will also benefit the health of your family and friends and save you money.
For a more comprehensive overview of smoking and health in Australia, take a look at the Tobacco In Australia website developed by Cancer Council Victoria.
1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016: detailed findings. Drug Statistics series no.31.Cat. no. PHE 214. Canberra: AIHW
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics(2019). National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18. ABS cat.no.4364.0.55.001. Canberra
3. U.S Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of smoking – 50 years of progress: a report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2019). Cancer in Australia 2019. Canberra: AIHW.
5. ACT Health: (2018), Healthy Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Chief Health Officer’s Report 2018, ACT Government, Canberra ACT.