Edited by/ The Middle East On Line
15,000 deaths per year In Australia are caused by regular long-term tobacco smoking.
Some of the diseases caused by smoking include lung cancer, bronchitis, heart
disease and stroke.
Smoking kills more people in Australia than all the
people killed by alcohol, other drugs, murder, suicide,
road crashes, rail crashes, air crashes, poisoning,
drowning, fires, falls, lightning, electrocution, snakes,
spiders and sharks.
Each year about 245 Western Australians have body
organs partially or completely removed because of
problems caused by smoking. Each year this results in the
removal of 55 lungs, 44 legs, 22 larynxes (voice boxes), 15
kidneys, 11 palates, 10 gullets, 10 stomachs, 10 wombs, 9
tongues, 10 bladders, 2 pancreases and 2 arms.
Smoking caused cancer
Tobacco smoking is the largest preventable cause of cancer, responsible for more cancer deaths in Australia than any other single factor. It is also directly responsible for many heart and lung diseases. Smoking affects the smoker, as well as those around them.
Here you will find information on the effects of smoking, help with stopping smoking and details of Cancer Council’s work to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.
Who does not smoke?
Approximately 80% of West Australian adults don’t
smoke. The majority of young people also choose to
be smoke-free. In fact more than 90% of schoolboys
and schoolgirls aged 12 to 17 years in Western
Australia do not smoke regularly.
People who start smoking in their teen years are more
likely to become regular smokers, smoke more heavily,
have difficulties quitting and are at greater risk of getting
The majority of adult smokers say they wish they had
never started and that they would like to stop.
In fact, around 80% of Australian smokers have made
attempts to quit.
Second hand smoking
Second hand smoking is when a person breathes
another person’s tobacco smoke. Sometimes referred to
as passive smoke, it can be the smoke that the smoker
breathes out (exhaled mainstream smoke) or the smoke
from the end of the cigarette (sidestream smoke).
Second hand smoking causes smelly clothes and hair,
sore and/or watery eyes, sneezing and coughing, ear
infections, slower lung growth and can trigger asthma
attacks. It has also been linked to cot death.
Addiction to cigarette smoking
Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco. New smokers
often feel dizzy and sick from tobacco smoke, but some
get used to its effects. As they continue to smoke, their
bodies learn to depend on nicotine and they can tolerate
smoking more and more. When smokers stop they may
get cravings and feel anxious, hungry, irritable and
find it hard to focus on what they are doing. Social and
emotional factors also contribute to someone becoming
addicted to smoking. For example, people may feel they
need to smoke when they are at a party, when they are
with certain friends or feeling stressed or bored.2
Research shows that people do not need to smoke many
cigarettes to become addicted to smoking. Young people
can be at risk of becoming addicted to smoking even if
they only smoke occasionally, such as at parties or on
Someone who is addicted to smoking may find it difficult
to stop or cut down. They may crave cigarettes and
experience withdrawal symptoms as their body adjusts
to not having nicotine. Getting help with quitting will give
smokers a much better chance of success. They can:
• visit their doctor for advice on quitting methods or
• get support from family or friends
• call the Quitline 13 QUIT (13 7848)
• visit www.quitwa.com .