1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Smoking is recognised as the 'largest single preventable cause of death and disease in Australia' (AMA 2005). It is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, renal disease and eye disease. About one-fifth (21%) of people (aged 18 years and over) were current smokers in 2007-08, down from 23% in 2004-05 and 24% in 2001. These declines have taken place in the context of a high level of investment in anti-smoking campaigns and increased restrictions on smoking in public places such as workplaces, restaurants and pubs.

In 2007-08, more men smoked than women (23% of men and 19% of women). People aged 25-34 years had the highest rate of current smokers (33% of men and 22% of women).

Passive smoking
Passive smoking increases the risk of heart disease, asthma, and some cancers. It may also increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and may predispose children to allergic sensitisation (National Public Health Partnership 2000). In the late 1990s there was a national response to reduce passive smoking in enclosed public places and in workplaces and this has continued into the 2000s.

During 2007-08, 3.5% of people (aged 15 years and over) and 7.2% of children (aged under 15 years) lived in a household where a daily smoker was reported to have smoked indoors (ABS 2009e). These people are at risk of exposure to second-hand smoke and may be involuntarily subjected to passive smoking and its associated risks.


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