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].
Tobacco use was estimated to be responsible for 9% of the total burden of disease and injury in Australia in 2011. It was estimated that 80% of lung cancer burden and 75% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease burden was attributable to tobacco use.
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.
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