A Third of Australian's Unaware of Smoking Risks

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Fraser Clarke

Fewer than a third of Australians know about the rarer health conditions caused by smoking tobacco, according to a new report.

Published this month in the Medical Journal of Australia, the survey spoke to a sample of 1,806 average Australians over the phone and online - quizzing them on how likely smoking would be to increase their risks of a range of medical conditions.

Over eight in ten respondents knew about the well-published links that are shown on cigarette packaging- such as Lung Cancer, Emphysema and Throat Cancer, however less than half were aware of the links to female infertility, Kidney Cancer and Diabetes.

Speaking to ABC News, Michelle Scolla from Victoria’s Cancer Council, said: “It was predictable and pleasing that smokers knew about the health effects that have been highlighted in the current sets of warnings and media campaigns.

“However fewer than half realised it could reduce your fertility, and that could have a really major impact on the course of people's lives.”

This has lead to calls to update the graphic warnings already displayed on packaging to cover more conditions, and ensure that they don’t lose the shock factor.

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