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Perspectives

Smoking is the new smoking

Emily Banks

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Abstract

Smoking is still an important public health problem. Even with decreasing prevalence, there are still many patients who need support to quit.

Key Points

  • Smoking remains the single biggest contributor to the total burden of disease and to the burden of cardiovascular disease in Australia.
  • Up to two-thirds of current smokers in Australia will die from their habit if they do not quit.
  • Quitting at any age is beneficial; people quitting by age 45 years avoid almost all of the premature mortality risks related to smoking.
  • Although Australia is a world leader in tobacco control, 2.7 million Australians are current smokers and smoking is increasingly concentrated in the disadvantaged.
  • Brief smoking cessation interventions by GPs and other health professionals are effective at reducing smoking.

    Picture credit: © Serdjophoto/iStockphoto.com

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