Thursday, 26 February 2015
Cancer Council Western Australia says the worse than expected findings from a large-scale Australian study on the link between smoking and mortality have shown there are now 1.8 million reasons to quit.
The Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study of more than 200,000 people over four years showed that two out three smokers are likely to die prematurely because of their habit, prompting Cancer Council WA to release a hard-hitting advertisement urging smokers to quit.
There are currently about 2.7 million smokers in Australia which means that 1.8 million of those smokers are likely to die from their habit.
The study also found that smokers on average cut about 10 years off their lives and their risk of dying at any age is three times higher than non-smokers.
Terry Slevin, Cancer Council WA’s Director of Education and Research, says the results are sobering but it’s not all doom and gloom.
“The study also found those who give up the habit can mostly avoid the major risks associated with smoking, so we need to keep reinforcing our message.
“While these findings are a huge wake-up call, they also show us that the sooner smokers quit the better,” Mr Slevin said.
“We’ve made big inroads in encouraging people to quit, and discouraging people from starting smoking, rates are down to about 13% now, largely through educational programs and initiatives like the successful move to plain packaging.
“These study results show we need to redouble our efforts to encourage smokers to make the decision to quit,” Mr Slevin said.
“We hope this ad will serve to remind smokers that the numbers are in and the message is clear – quit today, and the bad news will get better.”