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Smoking Risks Worse Than Previously Thought

October 11, 2013
Public Health

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p>Researchers in Australia have concluded that smoking carries even more risks than previously thought. According to the Sax Institutes? 45 and Up study which undertook a four year examination of the medical records of 200,000 Australians, the habit is responsible for cutting ten years off the life expectancy of the average smoker. Supported by the National Heart Foundation, results also showed a direct correlation between risk and the number of cigarettes smoked a day. For those smoking ten cigarettes a day the risk of premature death is doubled, but there is some positive news for smokers as stopping at any age has been proved to reduce risk factors considerably. The results from the study are equally applicable across the globe as,Professor Emily Banks, who led the research, explained; “the international rule of thumb is that half of all smoker deaths are directly caused by tobacco. When people have been smoking for decades having started smoking in their late teens, and actually smoking heavily … it’s the pattern you see with a mature epidemic.?

The news will continue the pressure on the UK government to adopt plain tobacco packaging which was introduced in Australia in December last year. Up until now the coalition has resisted calls from medical professionals to introduce the scheme, the nation?s teenagers adding their weight to the argument this week after a survey by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) revealed 80% of 13-18 year olds backed plain packaging. The results confirmed the opinion of BHF chief executive Simon Gillespie who said; “The message from our young people is loud and clear: current health warnings aren’t up to the job and the UK government must step up to the mark and introduce standardised packs.?