Tobacco Facts. Sometime giving up is good. Quit smoking.

Passive smoking

Passive smoking means breathing in other people’s tobacco smoke. A smoker’s exhaled smoke is called exhaled mainstream smoke. The smoke drifting from their lit cigarette is called sidestream smoke. The combination of mainstream and sidestream smoke is called environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

Pregnancy and newborn babies

Health risks for mothers who smoke during pregnancy include:

  • Increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth
  • Increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight
  • Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Increased risk of complications during the birth.
  • A non-smoking pregnant woman is more likely to give birth to a baby with a slightly lower birth weight if she is exposed to environmental tobacco smoke in the home – for example, if her partner smokes.

Health risks – children

  • A child who lives in a smoking household for the first 18 months of its life has an increased risk (around 60 per cent higher) of developing a range of respiratory illnesses including croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis and pneumonia. They are also more prone to getting colds, coughs and glue ear (middle ear infections). Their lungs show a reduced ability to function and slower growth.
  • A child exposed to environmental tobacco smoke in the home is 40 per cent more likely to develop asthma symptoms. Estimates suggest that about eight per cent of childhood asthma cases are caused by passive smoking.

Health risks – partners who have never smoked

People who have never smoked but who live with partners who smoke are at increased risk of a range of tobacco-related diseases.

Some of the many health risks for partners who have never smoked include:

  • Passive smoking increases the risk of heart disease. There is consistent evidence that non-smokers married to smokers have higher risks of coronary heart disease than those whose spouses do not smoke.
  • Long term exposure to passive smoking may lead to the development of atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries). Just 30 minutes of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke can start this process.
  • Non-smokers who suffer long term exposure to environmental tobacco smoke have a 20 to 30 per cent higher risk of developing lung cancer than non-smokers who are not exposed to passive smoke.
  • The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has estimated that 11 people who have never smoked die from lung cancer each year in Australia, and up to 77 people die from coronary heart disease, because they are exposed to smoke at home.
  • There is an increased risk of nose and sinus cancer.

Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.

20 Minutes After Quitting
Your heart rate drops.

12 hours After Quitting
Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting
Your heart attack risk begins to drop.
Your lung function begins to improve.

1 to 9 Months After Quitting
Your Coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

1 Year After Quitting
Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.

5 Years After Quitting
Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting.

10 Years After Quitting
Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s.
Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.

15 Years After Quitting
Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s.

Work out how much money you spend on cigarettes in a day, a week and a year then start planning all the treats you can have with money.

Compared to smokers, your…

Stroke risk is reduced to that of a person who never smoked after 5 to 15 years of not smoking

Cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus risks are halved 5 years after quitting

Cancer of the larynx risk is reduced after quitting

Coronary heart disease risk is cut by half 1 year after quitting and is nearly the same as someone who never smoked 15 years after quitting

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk of death is reduced after you quit Lung cancer risk drops by as much as half 10 years after quitting

Ulcer risk drops after quitting

Bladder cancer risk is halved a few years after quitting

Peripheral artery disease goes down after quitting

Cervical cancer risk is reduced a few years after quitting

Low birth weight baby risk drops to normal if you quit before pregnancy or during your first trimester the benefits of quitting