Tobacco-Fast facts for workers
Often overlooked in a treatment context, tobacco contributes to more deaths in Australia than any other drug.
Tobacco is a stimulant derived from leaves of the tobacco plant. Nicotine is tobacco’s active, addictive ingredient. Tobacco can be bought and used legally by people over 18.
Cigs, fags, butts, darts, smokes, cancer sticks, ciggies, rollies.
HOW COMMON IS USAGE
In 2010, one in six Australians aged over 14 years (15.1 per cent) smoked tobacco daily (National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 2010).
Cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and wet and dry snuff.
Smoked (cigarette or pipe), sometimes chewed or sniffed.
Relaxation, reduced appetite, increased alertness, mild euphoria, dizziness, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Effects are felt almost immediately and can last between 15 and 60 minutes when smoked.
Combining nicotine patches with gum or cigarettes may result in confusion, shallow breathing or seizures. An ambulance should be called if any of these symptoms occur. Tobacco use has serious long-term health consequences such as emphysema, heart attack, stroke and lung cancer.
Alcohol, resulting in increased consumption (social smoking). It is also often combined with cannabis in a rolled cigarette known as a joint.
SOME COMMON HARM REDUCTION STRATEGIES
Encourage a young person to:
- Reduce the number of cigarettes smoked daily
- Use patches or gum to reduce smoking’s health risks
- Smoke in open spaces to reduce second-hand smoke
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