The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing nearly six million people a year. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths.
Of all the risk factors for ill health, tobacco smoking is responsible for the greatest burden on the health of Australians, accounting for 7.8% of the total burden of disease in 2003. Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for:
- Coronary heart disease;
- Peripheral vascular disease;
- Numerous cancers including cancers of the lung, mouth, oesophagus, larynx, kidney, pancreas, bladder, stomach and cervix;
- And other diseases and conditions.
In 2003 an estimated 15,511 people died in Australia as a result of tobacco…
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