Tobacco smoking is the single most important preventable cause of ill health and death in Australia. Tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, of which over 70 cause cancer.
Smoking is a leading risk factor for chronic disease and death, including many types of cancer, respiratory disease and heart disease. Exposure to tobacco smoke (second-hand smoking) also causes numerous health conditions among adults and children, and smoking (first or second hand) during pregnancy can affect the health of both mother and baby [3, 4].
Strategies to minimise the harm caused by tobacco smoking have been in place for decades. These have included advertising bans; bans on smoking indoors and increasingly in outdoor public spaces; plain packaging; price increases, restrictions on sales to minors, publication, and media campaigns [1, 2].
The National Tobacco Strategy 2012–2018, sets out a national framework to reduce tobacco-related harm in Australia. Its goal is 'to improve the health of all Australians by reducing the prevalence of smoking and its associated health, social and economic costs, and the inequalities it causes' .
Australia has been successful in reducing smoking prevalence over many years through the use of such strategies. Fewer people are smoking daily and more people have never smoked compared with 20 years ago.
Web report |
24 Aug 2022
16 Jul 2020
The non-medical use of pharmaceutical drugs is an ongoing concern internationally
There is a strong link between problematic alcohol or other drug use and experiences of homelessness
People with mental health conditions are more likely to use tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs
Smoking and drinking rates are down among gay, lesbian and bisexual people.
Between 2016 and 2019, the proportion of ex-drinkers rose from 7.6% to 8.9%.
Smoking rates increase with socioeconomic disadvantage, but illicit drug use highest in the most advantaged areas.
More reports and statistics on tobacco smoking can be found under Alcohol, Alcohol & other drug treatment services and Illicit use of drugs.
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