Dr Michael Bint is promoting healthy lungs for a healthy life as part of World No Tobacco Day today.
Dr Michael Bint is promoting healthy lungs for a healthy life as part of World No Tobacco Day today. Warren Lynam

No ifs or butts, you could start saving your life right now

TAKE a deep breath.

From the moment you quit smoking, your health starts to improve and on World No Tobacco Day today, health professionals are urging smokers to kick the habit.

Nambour General Hospital director of respiratory medicine Dr Michael Bint said that given the number of smokers on the Sunshine Coast, 10% of people aged over 40 would have serious lung disease - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

"We've got 30,000 with smoking-related lung disease," he said. "Most of them don't know they've got it."

Dr Bint said every year, about 300 people on the Coast developed lung cancer, and almost all were smokers.

He said 90% of people diagnosed with lung cancer died.

Today, the World Health Organisation is reiterating its call for a global ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

NPS MedicineWise clinical advisor Philippa Binns said tobacco killed about six million people every year, and almost half of lifetime smokers would die from diseases caused by smoking such as a heart attack, stroke, emphysema, and throat or lung cancer.

"It's worth remembering that when you quit smoking you'll feel the health benefits immediately," she said.

"Within days, you'll be breathing and moving around more easily.

"At one year, your chance of having a heart attack is halved and at 10 years, your chance of dying of lung cancer is also halved."

Cancer Council Queensland is calling on the State Government to ban smoking in public places.

"There are major health risks from inhaling tobacco smoke, including a 30% increased chance of developing lung cancer," spokeswoman Katie Clift said.

Call Quitline on 131 848.

 

>> Deadly facts

  • On the Sunshine Coast, about 12% of people smoke daily, lower than the state average of 14%.
  • This year, about 3000 Queenslanders will die from a tobacco-related disease, with about 300 of the deaths caused by second-hand smoke.
  • Passive smoke is linked to heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory conditions in adults, and asthma, SIDS and allergic respiratory diseases in children.

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