Less frequent smokers still face double the risk of death

Smokers who smoke a few times a week are likely to die 10 years earlier than average, while smokers who smoke fewer than 14 cigarettes a day face double the risk of death of non-smokers.

The latest figures show 17 per cent of the Queensland adult population are current smokers – including daily and non-daily smokers.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift urged all smokers, even occasional smokers, to quit for good.


“Queenslanders aren’t aware of how harmful even occasional or social smoking is for your health,” Ms Clift said.

“Even those who cut back to between one and four cigarettes a day remain at risk of dying from a tobacco-related disease.

“Queenslanders who smoke an average of 10 cigarettes a day still have double the risk of dying than a non-smoker.

“Smoking at any frequency is a risk to a person’s short and long term health, and the health of their family and friends.

“It’s important for all smokers to understand the widespread, damaging effects of their habit – even if you’re not a daily smoker, your risk of dying from cigarettes remains high.

“Every cigarette is doing you damage, and even occasional or weekly smoking can harm others through second-hand smoke exposure.

“Exposure to passive smoke raises a person’s risk of heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory conditions, and can cause asthma, SIDS and allergic respiratory diseases in children.

“It’s vital that all smokers make a commitment to give up the habit for good.”

Around 3700 Queenslanders die from a tobacco-related disease each year. About 370 of these deaths are caused by second-hand smoke exposure.

Currently, two in three Australian smokers will die from their habit.

“The benefits of quitting smoking, even as a light smoker, are immediate – even if people already suffer health problems,” Ms Clift said.

“12 hours after stopping smoking, the level of carbon monoxide in your blood drops dramatically. After 72 hours, your sense of taste and smell improve.

“From two weeks, lung function and circulation improves, and from one month coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

“Reach out today for free resources, support and advice to help you quit for good.”

Cancer Council Queensland has urged the Government to provide bipartisan support for a Private Member’s Bill for more smoke free spaces, introduced into Parliament in July.

The Bill calls for a ban on cigarettes sold at ‘pop-up’ shops and smoking bans within five metres of Queensland Government buildings, at public transport waiting points and pedestrian malls, and at swimming pools and skate parks.

Smokers are urged to call the Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) for help with quitting.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.