In 2015, 9.3% of the disease burden in Australia was due to tobacco use, making it the leading risk factor that contributed to disease burden and deaths.
These estimates reflect the amount of disease burden that could have been avoided if all people in Australia had not used tobacco or been exposed to second hand smoke in their lifetime.
Tobacco use was causally linked to the burden of 39 individual diseases including: 19 types of cancer; 7 cardiovascular diseases; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and asthma (see Supplementary tables).
How much burden was attributable to tobacco use?
Tobacco use was responsible for over 75% of the disease burden due to lung cancer, 72% of the burden due to COPD and over 52% of the burden from oesophageal cancer.
Note that the following visualisation displays the top 10 linked diseases due to tobacco use.
There was a 2% increase (8,731 DALYs) in total burden attributable to all types of tobacco use between 2003 and 2015, which was driven by a 19% increase due to population growth and an 11% increase due to population ageing.
Total burden attributable to past tobacco use increased by 15% (41,583 DALYs) between 2003 and 2015 which was driven by a 20% increase due to population growth and a 13% increase due to population ageing.
Total burden attributable due to current tobacco use and second hand smoke decreased by 26% (24,511 DALYs) and 57% (4,883 DALYs), respectively, between 2003 and 2015, due to changes in linked disease burden and risk factor exposure.
Among males, total burden attributable to all types of tobacco use decreased by 7%, compared with a 17% increase among females. The decrease in males was driven by a 21% decrease due to changes in linked disease burden and a 16% decrease due to changes in tobacco use exposure.
How did burden attributable to tobacco use vary by age and sex?
Tobacco use contributed to disease burden across all age groups, including infants and young children exposed to second hand smoke. Most of the tobacco use attributable burden was experienced in both males and females aged 45 and over.
Males experienced a greater amount of burden attributable to tobacco use compared with females in all ages up to 84 years, after which it was higher in females.
Did attributable burden vary by socioeconomic group?
Disease burden attributable to tobacco use was 2.6 times higher in the lowest (most disadvantaged) socioeconomic group compared with the highest (least disadvantaged) group.
How has disease burden attributable to tobacco use changed over time?
The rate of total burden attributable to tobacco use (from all linked diseases) decreased by 24% between 2003 and 2015 (from 21.6 DALY to 16.4 DALY per 1,000 population).