Tobacco use contributes to health burden more than any other risk factor and was responsible for 9.3% of the total burden of disease in Australia in 2015.
This report extends estimates published in the Australian Burden of Disease Study (ABDS) 2015 (AIHW 2019a). It provides insight into the health impact of tobacco use in Australia, including as a risk factor for specific diseases such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and coronary heart disease. The health impact comprises both fatal burden (dying prematurely) and non-fatal burden (living with disease) and is reported using a summary measure of health called disability-adjusted life years, or DALY.
Most of the burden attributable to tobacco use was fatal
- Tobacco use contributed to 13% of deaths in Australia in 2015, equivalent to 20,933 deaths. It contributed to more deaths in males than females. Almost three-quarters of the tobacco use burden was due to fatal outcomes. Tobacco use was responsible for 14% of all fatal burden and 5.0% of all non-fatal burden.
Cancers accounted for nearly half of the burden due to tobacco use
- Forty-three per cent of the burden attributable to tobacco use was due to cancer, and almost two-thirds of this was from lung cancer (28% of total tobacco burden).
- COPD accounted for 30% of the burden attributable to tobacco use, with the burden higher in females (38%) than males (25%).
- Cardiovascular diseases were responsible for 17% of the burden due to tobacco use— primarily related to coronary heart disease (10%) and stroke (3.1%). Males experienced 2.2 times the amount of cardiovascular disease burden due to tobacco use than females.