Compelling reasons for health professionals to support smokers to quit

The table below provides the relative risk of serious chronic diseases comparing current smokers and former smokers with non-smokers. For example, current smokers have nearly 11 times the risk of getting lung cancer compared to non-smokers. Former smokers significantly reduce their risk to nearly 4 times that of life-long non-smokers. These comparisons emphasise how crucial it is for health professionals to provide support for smokers to quit.

Smoking significantly increases complications for wound healing following surgery.

Smoking also significantly increases the risk of perinatal and neonatal complications.

Continuing to smoke after a cancer diagnosis significantly reduces the effectiveness of cancer treatments.

These summaries of relative risk provide compelling reasons why support for smoking cessation is relevant and critical to immediate health issues, the progression of exisiting disease and common medical interventions.

The vast majority of smokers want to quit but few use proven interventions when trying.

Support for smoking cessation should be embedded as part of routine care in health services and hospitals.

The Australian Council on Smoking and Health strongly supports the three step model set out below.

ACOSH acknowledges Quit Victoria for the provision of these important information resources.