Smoking remains a serious public health problem,  2.7 million Australians are current smokers and up to two thirds of current Australian smokers will die from their habit if they do not quit. Tobacco contains over 7,000 chemicals of which over 70 cause cancer.

Despite some of the strictest tobacco controls in the world, recent data has demonstrated the decline in smoking rates in Australia has slowed. Of people aged over 14 years, 12% smoked daily in 2016, down from 24% in 1991. Rates of daily smoking in younger people have declined, those people in their 40s had the highest smoking rates of 17% and 11% of women who gave birth smoked during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Among current smokers, 3 in 10 have tried to quit but did not succeed and about 1 in 3 do not intend to quit.

Although quitting at any age is beneficial, those who are able to quit before the age of 45 years are able to avoid almost all of the early death risks related to smoking.

Quitting can be difficult, the benefits are not immediate and quitting involves suffering a period of withdrawal symptoms, while knowing that the symptoms could be immediately relieved by smoking. There are many quit methods and strategies available and it may be necessary to combine different methods to succeed.

First-line quitting strategies available in Australia such as nicotine patches offer around 7% success rate. The current approaches and policies adopted in Australia appear to be having less effect on reducing the smoking rate and more controversial approaches such as e-cigarettes are currently under review.

The quitnow website offers methods to become smoke free and what to expect as well as the range of supports available to help in achieving smoke-free status. 

Quit Now: My QuitBuddy app helps you get and stay quit, with tips and distractions and tracking systems to chart your progress. There is a daily update about your progress including the money you have saved.

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