Smoking in Australia 4 causes and 4 effects Essay Example

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Smoking in Australia

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

Causes of Smoking in Australia 3

Peer Pressure 3

Overestimation of the Number of Smokers 4

Weak Guidance from Guardians 4

Tobacco Advertisements 4

Effects 5

Cardiovascular, stroke, and heart attack diseases 5

Eye Disease 5

Immune Deterioration 6

Lung Cancer 6

Conclusion 6

Recommendations 7

References 8

Research Methodology 9

Database Printout Source 9

Smoking in Australia


Tobacco smoking prevails as the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia. Every year, tobacco smoking usually kills approximately 15,000 Australian citizens (Rahman and Harding, 2011). Some of the reasons why there is excessive smoking in Australia include peer pressure from friends, the belief that everybody else is also a smoker, bad smoking example from guardians, as well as the need to show defiance and independence. This smoking often results in various health effects which are cardiovascular, stroke, and heart attack diseases, eye disease, immune deterioration, and lung cancer (Rahman and Harding, 2011).

The aim of the paper is to assess the effects and causes of smoking in Australia.

The paper will provide a summary of the state of smoking trends in Australia, evaluate four causes of smoking and four effects of smoking, and give some recommendations about the issue.

Causes of Smoking in Australia

Peer Pressure

One of the leading reasons why many people indulge in smoking is the peer pressure that they receive from their friends. According to the statistics of the Health Department in Australia, approximately 80% of the smokers began their smoking habits by the time they were 18 years of age (Lillard, 2015). Most of the people began smoking as they desperately tried to fit in with a particular set of friends or groups, become well-liked and feel like a part of the crowd. According to Lillard (2015), tobacco use is among the different choices that teenagers usually make when they are at these formative years of their lives. As the peer pressure to smoke increases with time, they become well-acquainted to smoking without knowing (Lillard, 2015).

Overestimation of the Number of Smokers

Most smokers believe everybody else is a smoker. Most of the smokers in Australia usually tend to overestimate the number of people who smoke which then encourages them to smoke even more. As Lillard (2015) has documented, only about 35% of people are smokers or use some tobacco products like electronic cigarettes, hookahs, dissolvable tobacco, or cigars in Australia which mean approximately 65% of Australians are not smokers (Lillard, 2015). Although the number of smokers is significant, evidently not everyone is Australia is a smoker. As the smokers continue to believe that most of them are smokers, they then tend to continue smoking and recruit others in that habit, and that is how more and more people continue to smoke (Lillard, 2015).

Weak Guidance from Guardians

As has been highlighted earlier, about 80% of smokers in Australia started smoking by the time they were 18 years of age (Lillard, 2015). In the same light, the guardians are the most influential people of in the lives of teenagers who mean that they play a significant role in their behaviors (Najman, Toloo and Siskind, 2006). This means that as the young individuals grow up in an environment where their guardians are smoking, then they are most likely to take up the same behavior and grow with it into adulthood. Some of the youths who have taken the smoking habit from their guardians often learn that smoking assists them in relaxing, reducing stress levels, and help them just to enjoy themselves (Najman, Toloo and Siskind, 2006). This, therefore, means that if the youths are feeling the same, they will result to smoking too to reduce this stress and anxiety.

Tobacco Advertisements

The excessive rate of smoking in Australia can also be attributed to the tobacco advertisements spread the message and perception that indulging in smoking is ‘cool.’ The smoking messages and advertisements are all over the Australian media platforms including in movies, TV shows, radio shows, banners, among other platforms which have played a role in encouraging smoking in the country (Najman, Toloo and Siskind, 2006). Therefore, the traditional media has played a role in smoking and although the Australian government has compelled these companies to highlight the dangers of smoking in these adverts, there is still some element of ignorance regarding including this in the advertisement messages that has led to encouraging others to smoke (Najman, Toloo and Siskind, 2006). In the same light, tobacco is always portrayed in movies and games as something that is linked to power, wealth and is exciting. This is then a reinforncement of the common themes of advertising that is depicted in the media which in turn increases the number of the youth who are smoking tobacco (Najman, Toloo and Siskind, 2006). These young people tend to perceive smoking as being just a normal and an acceptable thing thanks to the way it is portrayed which has then encouraged more people to be smokers (Najman, Toloo and Siskind, 2006).


Cardiovascular, stroke, and heart attack diseases

Carbon monoxide and nicotine that are contained in cigarettes are fundamental causes that result in the heart arteries to lose their elasticity. This, therefore, means smoking may cause pressure fluctuations which then seem to rapture (Siahpush, English and Powles, 2006). Smoking is also associated with the damage of blood vessels which can hinder the circulation of blood specifically the flow to the feet and hands. Additionally, smoking has been related to the increase of blood pressure as well as heart rate according to the health statistics in Australia (Siahpush, English and Powles, 2006). This is because the tobacco usually forces the arteries to become narrow and in turn, makes it challenging for the blood to flow through the vessels.

Eye Disease

A prolonged period of smoking has resulted in the failure and obstruction of adequate blood supply in the macula which may commonly lead to blindness. This is a common condition in Australia which is also related to cardiovascular diseases which are also associated with rampantness in smoking (Chapman and Freeman, 2008). The cigarette usually affects the retina of the eye which damages the blood vessel in this area and turns causes the progressive vision failure. The may be the growth of a new vessel which may lead to scarring the retina and consequently a severe loss of vision (Chapman and Freeman, 2008). Additionally, smoking is also linked to increased rates of cataracts which is considered as the leading cause of blindness in Australia. Smokers typically increase their risks of contracting this cataract condition as compared to the non-smokers (Chapman and Freeman, 2008). Precisely, the smokers have twice the chance of developing cataracts and these risks keeps increasing as individuals continue to smoke.

Immune Deterioration

In Australia, most smokers have has high levels of immune system deterioration. This then leads to enhanced levels of severity to illnesses, and high susceptibility levels to infections like influenza and pneumonia (Siahpush, English and Powles, 2006). As one continues to smoke, they are weakening the various body elements that are supposed to protect them from being susceptible to different illnesses. As the immune system deteriorates, then the entire health of the smoker is put in jeopardy because various infections can quickly attack them (Siahpush, English and Powles, 2006). As has been highlighted earlier, the heart may be damaged as a result of smoking and if this happens, and the immune system deteriorates as well, then the smoker’s health is in great danger. The products found in tobacco damage potentially every system in the smoker’s body through, for example,leading to high risks of infections in the respiratory system. Aside from deteriorating the ability of the immune system to fight infections off, smoking may also result in the body’s immune system to fight off its body cells (Siahpush, English and Powles, 2006).

Lung Cancer

A major health risk in Australia related to smoking is lung cancer which is said to kill about 7,000 people annually (Chapman and Freeman, 2008). Smoking has been said to be liable for about 85% of lung cancer, and the number continues to rise. As one smokes, the minute particles of the tar tend to travel towards the tiniest lungs’ branches known as the alveoli and stick there (Chapman and Freeman, 2008). After continuous smoking, this tar usually collapses the alveoli which in turn reduce the lungs’ ability to transport the required gases which include carbon dioxide and oxygen all through the body (Chapman and Freeman, 2008). Lung cancer has been attributed to be the primary cause of death of smokers in Australia.


Smoking is a serious problem in Australia, and it results in increasing number of deaths and diseases in that country. Some of the causes of smoking include peer pressure, belief that everyone is smoking as well, teenagers having guardians who also smoke, and the need to being independent or defiant. The effects of smoking include cardiovascular diseases, eye problems, deterioration of the immune system, and lung cancer.


The government can establish a particular mechanism which will oversee that any communication regarding cigarettes which includes their emissions or contents is complete and evidence-based with the interests of the public at heart (Rahman and Harding, 2011).

People who have smoking problems can participate in the necessary social groups and organizations that aim at helping them to handle the smoking problem. Participating and getting an adequate education on the same will significantly help them to understand how to cope with the smoking problem in the long run (Rahman and Harding, 2011).


Chapman, S and Freeman, B 2008, Markers of the denormalisation of smoking and the tobacco industry. Tobacco Control, 17(1), pp.25-31.

LILLARD, D.R 2015, Life-Course Smoking Behavior: Patterns and National Context in Ten Countries, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Najman, J.M., Toloo, G and Siskind, V 2006, Socioeconomic disadvantage and changes in health risk behaviours in Australia: 1989-90 to 2001. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 84(12), pp.976-984.

Rahman, A. and Harding, A 2011, Social and health costs of tobacco smoking in Australia: level, trend and determinants. International Journal of Statistics and Systems, 6(4), pp. 399-411.

Siahpush, M., English, D and Powles, J 2006, The contribution of smoking to socioeconomic differentials in mortality: results from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study, Australia. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 60(12), pp.1077-1079.

Research Methodology

The research was conducted using secondary research materials that have been highlighted in the reference. An in-depth survey was undertaken in these research materials and the important information regarding the research topic was included in the essay. All these research materials are relevant to the topic.

Database Printout Source

Australian Government Department of Health (2017). Tobacco Control key facts and figures.