Everyone would have heard about how the Australian government has tried to reduce the number of smokers each year through various and intense anti-smoking campaigns.

Smoking kills thousands of people every year because of lung, throat, mouth cancer, heart attacks and strokes. Smoking can also damage other parts of the body that you wouldn¡¯t think it could: you can go blind, have your limbs amputated if you develop gangrene and even reduce fertility (your ability to have babies). The reason is simple: cigarettes and cigars are loaded with drugs ¨C which do harmful things to your body.

Research has shown that in every cigarette there are approximately 7,000 chemicals, made up of particles and gases, over 50 of which are known to cause cancer. The most influential drug is nicotine. Nicotine is every addictive, which means once you start smoking on a regular basis, you become ¡°dependent¡± on having that nicotine fix consistently. Your body needs a regular dose, which is why it is so hard to quit.

Quitting is a major problem. Many smokers find themselves struggling to stop smoking. The problem is that nicotine makes it extremely difficult to suddenly just go ¡°cold turkey¡±. Smokers will find themselves having many withdrawal symptoms, including, headaches, dizziness, shakiness, coughing, aches and pains, and probably the toughest feeling ¨C craving for smoking.

Of course over time, your body will get use to the feeling of not having a smoke and you will find the nicotine leaving your system ¨C as well as you not having to live with it.

Smoking also doesn¡¯t just affect the smoker ¨C it affects the people around the smoker. This term is called ¡°second-hand smoke¡± (or passive smoking) and there are still chances for people to catch all the diseases that smokers get: cancer, heart attacks, strokes and so forth.

Passive smoking is also especially dangerous for children and unborn babies, because their bodies are undeveloped and are more prone to getting sick.

Children are more inclined to getting respiratory illnesses including bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and asthma symptoms. For women that are pregnant, there are increased risks of miscarriages, premature birth and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)

The Australian government has many strict rules when it comes to smoking. Firstly, you have to be over 18 to buy cigarettes and your not allowed to buy cigarettes for anyone under 18. Secondly, your not allowed to smoke in the following places: enclosed buildings, including workplaces, events, restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars. Not even at tram, bus or train stations.

Finally, as a tipping point, smoking is very, very expensive. And if you¡¯re a hard-core smoker, you¡¯ll be spending heaps of money on cigarettes each week. If you smoke one pack of cigarettes per day for 10 years, at today¡¯s prices, you¡¯ll spend over $36,000 ¨C easily enough to buy a new car.

Need helping quitting? Check out this website ¨C http://www.quitnow.gov.au/