**Cancer of the lungs, mouth, nose, throat, oesophagus, pancreas, kidney, liver, bladder, bowel, ovary, cervix, bone marrow, and stomach.
**Lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
**Heart disease, heart attack and stroke (Australia's biggest killer).
**Poor blood circulation in feet and hands, which can lead to pain and, in severe cases, gangrene and amputation.
31% of Australians say they used to smoke, but managed to quit, 51.1% say they never smoked and 1.8% smoke less than daily. In November 2014, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)’s National Drug Strategy Household Survey report 2013 was released showing that there has been a significant decrease in daily smokers aged 14 years or older in Australia, falling from 16.6% in 2007, 15.1% in 2010 to 12.8% in 2013. Australia’s low smoking rate is the result of sustained, concerted and comprehensive public policy efforts from all levels of government and action from public health organisations.
1976 – bans on all cigarette advertising on radio and television in Australia
1986 to 2006 – phased in bans on smoking in workplaces and public places
1990 – bans on advertising tobacco products in newspapers and magazines published in Australia
1992 – increase in the tobacco excise
1993 – Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 prohibited broadcasting/publication of tobacco advertisements
1994 to 2003 – bans on smoking in restaurants
1995 – nationally consistent text-only health warnings required
1998 to 2006 – bans on point-of-sale tobacco advertising across Australia
2006 – graphic health warnings required on packaging of most tobacco products
2010 – 25% increase in the tobacco excise
2011 – first complete State or Territory ban on point-of-sale tobacco product displays
2012 – introduction of tobacco plain packaging, updated, expanded graphic health warnings
2013 – changes to the bi-annual indexation of tobacco excise and a 12.5% excise increase in December
2014 - second of four 12.5% excise increases on 1 September 2013
2015 to 2016 – remaining 12.5% excise increases on 1 September each year
Misuse of prescription drugs is a big problem. Around 4.7% of the population misuse pharmaceutical drugs, most of those, around 3.3%, misuse pain killers. In the last few years prescriptions of opioids for chronic pain have skyrocketed creating a new wave of possible drug addicts. There's little evidence to support their long term use but doctors are facilitating addictions that can last for years. Prescriptions of oxycodone (active ingredient in Oxycontin) have trebled in the past decade, according to Medicare records. It is not known how many of those prescriptions result in addictions: most, it is believed, do not. NDARC, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, has begun a large study of opioid patients that should shed further light. But with prescription rates rising, there is growing concern that a cultural attachment to opioids is inevitably leading to increased addiction and other forms of abuse, such as overdose and black market trading. And that Australia, if it doesn't act quickly, could emulate the US epidemic of opioid abuse. In Western Australia in April 2015, Professor Eric Visser, heading an Australia-first project to improve the medical care of patients, says one in five Australians have chronic pain but the condition is still under-recognised. He said many of them found themselves with drug and alcohol problems. Many people who abused prescription and over-the-counter painkillers had started using the drugs to manage chronic pain. Others had turned to cannabis to seek relief.
"Chronic pain is a big problem and many people will seek health care because of their pain, yet in most medical school curricula it doesn't get much of a look-in" Professor Visser said. " ... it's still a very under-recognised health problem, even though it's up there with depression, heart disease and cancer." He said managing chronic pain was complex and because people found it hard to get timely treatment, many resorted to self-medicating and some ended up with dependency issues. "Cannabis is often used and over-the-counter medicines have become a big problem too," he said. "We need to develop best practice for doctors on how to manage pain, but also provide good information to the community about realistic expectations, even though it mightn't be a cure." Murdoch University would be the first in Australia to teach chronic pain medicine as a core part of a student's degree and research would be done to help improve the quality of life for 3.5 million Australians with conditions such as joint and back pain.