May 30, 2014

Stub out your cigarette on World No Tobacco Day

Lung Foundation Australia wants people to stub out their ciggies on World No Tobacco Day this Saturday.

Lung Foundation CEO William Darbishire said people around the globe were encouraged to abstain from all forms of tobacco on May 31st every year.

“We know the best thing smokers can do for their health is to quit, regardless of how old they are or how long they have been smoking for,” Mr Darbishire said.

“Tobacco smoking kills more than 15,000 Australians each year, more than breast cancer, AIDS, traffic and other accidents, murders and suicides combined,1” he said.

“Huge advances have been made in helping people to quit smoking but the battle has not yet been won.

“Tobacco smoking remains the single most preventable cause of ill-health and death in Australia.

“It contributes to more deaths and hospitalisations than alcohol and illicit drug use combined.2

Mr Darbishire said smoking was the major cause of many lung diseases, with around 40% of smoking-related deaths due to lung cancer and 27% to COPD.3

“Smoking also contributes to worsening of asthma and is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke,” Mr Darbishire said.

“About half of all persistent cigarette smokers are killed by their habit, a quarter of these while still in middle age (35-69 years),3” he said.

“On average, cigarette smokers die about 10 years younger than non-smokers.

“But there is hope. Stopping smoking at age 50 halves the hazard; stopping at 30 avoids most of it.4

“Research has shown that the most effective way to quit is to get some ongoing support from a health professional, using a combination of counselling and medicine.5

“Going cold turkey works for some people but most of us should talk with a health professional who can guide them on what works best when it comes to quitting.”

More information on how to quit smoking can be found on the Lung Foundation Australia website:



1)    Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia’s Health 2006. Canberra: AIHW, 2006, cat no. AUS 73.

2)    Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. Australia’s health 2012. Australian’s health series no. 13. Cat. No. AUS 156. Canberra: AIHW

3)    Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH.  Tobacco in Australia: Facts and Issue. 3rd Edition. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria, 2008. Available from

4)    Doll, R, et al.  Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years’ observations on male British doctors.  BMJ (Clinical research ed). 2004, Vol. 328, p. 1519.

5)    GOLD. Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Available from: