Smoking is Australia's number one lifestyle risk

Smoking is Australia's number one lifestyle risk

A report out today by The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) finds that lifestyle risks such as smoking, diet and weight are responsible for around 38 per cent of all illnesses and premature deaths in Australia.

This means that if Australians reduced lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, diet and high blood pressure, less illnesses and premature deaths would occur.

Of the 38 per cent, tobacco was responsible for one-quarter of the lifestyle factors, at 9.3 per cent. Obesity and dietary risks contributed 8.4 and 7.3 per cent respectively.

Australia’s smoking rate has stagnated over recent years, and there was even reports out earlier this month that some Australian suburbs have smoking rates of up to 40 per cent. Clearly the current quit smoking strategy isn’t working.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Greg Hunt yesterday told a conference in Melbourne that the government is developing, collaboratively, a "long-term national preventive health strategy" partly as a result of the findings from AIHW's report.

Let's hope he looks at the growing volume of evidence proving vaping is either less harmful or an effective way to quit smoking altogether.

Public Health England has proven that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes.

A recent scientific study of almost 20,000 people out of the UK found that vaping was the most effective quit smoking technique, more so than Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) such as gums and patches. Further, another study demonstrated it was almost twice as effective as NRT in a randomised trial.

It’s time the government took note of the evidence and legalised vaping to help reduce illness and premature deaths in Australia.