The negative health effects of smoking cigarettes have been documented for decades, and here in Australia our government is known for being increasingly active in working to eradicate this harmful habit altogether. Alongside plain packaging laws and ever-increasing excise rates pushing prices up, the federal government has also announced its commitment to reducing the amount of adults smoking on a daily basis to less than 10%. Whilst smoking in Australia is indeed now below the global average, a significant portion of Australia’s population are still smokers. One of the greatest impediments to eradicating smoking completely is that it is difficult getting smokers to quit — but not impossible.
Information and statistics about smoking in Australia
Smoking is referred to by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as one of the largest causes of preventable deaths in the country. This translates into approximately 15,000 people a year — not to mention major health issues for countless other people across Australia. Even worse, there is the phenomenon of second-hand smoke, which refers to the damage caused people in the vicinity of smokers who are inhaling unfiltered smoke.
Smoking has been scientifically linked to many serious medical conditions, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, respiratory conditions, eye disease and renal disease. The toxins that enter the body cause damage to virtually every organ.
Quitting smoking is a challenging process because of the highly addictive nature of nicotine. A major component of cigarettes, nicotine is a chemical that becomes more addictive the longer you smoke as your body becomes more used to it over time. As a result, trying to suddenly put an end to smoking causes cravings for nicotine, causing debilitating withdrawal symptoms.
There are various over-the-counter solutions to help people stop smoking, in addition to medication that only a Doctor can prescribe. In Australia, there are currently two types of prescribed medication. It is recommended to talk to your Doctor about which medication is right for you, as they may not be suitable for some people.
For more information about quitting smoking visit https://www.icanquit.com.au/.