The facts about Smoking

What happens when you smoke?

Smoking affects your taste and sense of smell. It stops oxygen getting to your brain and other organs (that’s why you might feel dizzy or faint when you smoke) – without oxygen our organs and muscles don’t work as well. Smoking can also make your hair and breath smell, give you stained teeth and fingers and make your skin look really bad

Did you know...

That smoking kills more people in Australia than all the people killed by alcohol, other drugs, murder, suicide, road crashes, rail crashes, air crashes, poisoning, drowning, fires, falls, lightning, electrocution, snakes, spiders and sharks - that’s a lot! Every year in Tasmania, around 502 people die from smoking.

Most people don’t smoke

More than 80 per cent of Tasmanian adults and about 91 per cent of Tasmanian high school and college students don’t smoke. The majority of adult smokers say they wish they’d never started smoking and that they would like to stop. In fact, around 80 per cent of Australians who do smoke have tried to quit.

Nicotine is addictive

Even if you smoke occasionally, such as at a party, you can still get addicted. Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco (found in cigarettes). You may become addicted even after smoking a few cigarettes. You may find it difficult to stop or cut down. If you notice feeling anxious, hungry, irritable and find it hard to focus when you haven’t had a smoke, these are signs of withdrawal from nicotine.

Cravings are generally short and pass really quickly – in less than 5 minutes. If you think about how many minutes you’ve been alive, 5 minutes isn’t very long!

Feeling withdrawal symptoms means your body may have been physically and/or mentally dependent on nicotine – scary stuff! Here are some tips that might help manage your cravings:

  • Drink water, chew gum or try some healthy snacks

  • Get active – try a quick walk or run

  • Use your hands – play a game on your phone

  • Go online, check Twitter, Facebook or send a message to a friend

  • Call the Quitline (137848) or a friend

Support to quit smoking

Our website is designed to help young Tasmanians be smoke free. It includes details on support services in the south, north & north west regions. Check out our Get Local page for more information.

If phone apps are your thing, you can download MyQuitBuddy for free from iTunes or Google Play online stores. Links to these can be found on our Phone Apps page.

You could also try talking to one of these people:

  • A doctor or pharmacist for advice on different ways to help with quitting

  • A support person at school such as a teacher, social worker or psychologist

  • A youth health worker or nurse at a youth health centre

  • A Quitline advisor on 137848 (free service)

  • Family or friends

Back to Why should I be Smoke Free? Resources