Tobacco smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. 1 Each year smoking claims the lives of around 15,000 Australians. 2
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals and at least 69 are known to cause cancer. 3 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. 4
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. 5
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 support to quit smoking call Quitline 13 7848 (13 QUIT).
1. AIHW 2011. 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report. Drug statistics series no. 25. Cat. no. PHE 145. Canberra: AIHW. Available at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/2010-ndshs/contents/table-of-contents
2. ABS (2009). 2007–08 National health survey: summary of results, Australia. ABS cat. no. 4364.0. Reissue. Canberra: ABS.
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. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 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, 2004.
5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Australasian Association of Cancer Registries. Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2012. Cancer series no. 74. Cat. no. CAN 70. Canberra: AIHW. Available at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-in-australia-an-overview-2012/contents/table-of-contents