The list of diseases caused by smoking has grown even longer today, following the release of a major new report outlining a 'substantial' list of new cancers and other illnesses caused by smoking.
Quit and The Cancer Council Victoria say a new report released today by the US Surgeon General has identified a range of new diseases not previously shown to be caused by smoking.
Cancers of the stomach, cervix, pancreas, kidney and myeloid leukemia have been added to the list of cancers caused by smoking. The report has found that smoking also causes pneumonia, abdominal aortic aneurysm, cataract and periodontitis.
""Based on our latest figures, in 2002 around 1900 Victorians were diagnosed with the new cancers that this report has established can be caused by smoking – that is cancer of the kidney, cervix, pancreas, stomach, and acute myeloid leukemia,"" said Cancer Council Director Professor David Hill.
""While not all cases and deaths from these cancers are smoking related, there can be no doubt that in Victoria smoking contributes substantially to both new cases and deaths in a number of different cancers.""
“It is absolutely clear that reducing smoking rates would have a significant effect on cancer deaths in Victoria. Around 9,600 Victorians died from cancer in 2002, and 21% of these deaths were caused by smoking.”
Quit Executive Director Todd Harper said with World No Tobacco Day only a few days away, he hoped the report's findings would give smokers new incentive to quit.
“This report sheds new light on the wide ranging health effects of smoking, and shows that smoking affects nearly every part of the body.”
Mr Harper says the report adds further weight to health groups’ calls for the swift introduction of graphic picture-based health warnings on cigarette packets.
“It’s very important that smokers have access to comprehensive and up to date information about the health effects of smoking. One of the best ways to communicate with smokers is through strong health warnings on cigarette packs.”
“I would urge the Commonwealth Government to immediately introduce graphic warnings that cover at least half of the front of cigarette packs. We can’t afford delays on a such a major public health issue.”
Professor Hill says it’s also vital that a new system of health warnings on cigarette packs has the mechanism to update warnings when new information comes to light.
“This report shows that we need to be able to introduce new health warnings promptly as new health information about the effects of smoking is becomes available.”
Mr Harper says the report also highlights the need for greater investment in advertising campaigns encouraging smokers to quit.
“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in Australia; and an important way to reduce the estimated 19,000 deaths caused by smoking each year is through sustained advertising campaigns that provide the impetus and support for smokers to quit.”
The latest report comes 40 years after the landmark report of US Surgeon General Luther Terry, which found smoking was a cause of lung cancer and emphysema.
The full report and supporting information can be found at:
Smokers who want help to quit smoking can contact the Quitline on 131 848 for the cost of a local call from anywhere in Victoria.
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