Understanding addictions: tackling smoking and hazardous drinking

John Litt, Caroline West

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Smoking: Hazardous alcohol consumption is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality (Rehm et al., 2015b; National Health and Medical Research Council, 2009). The leading causes of death are liver disease followed by road crash injury, cancer, and suicide. More people (particularly those amongst 15- to 19-year-olds) die from the acute effects of alcohol, while more of those 45. years and over died from chronic effects.Alcohol: One in five Australians drinks at levels that puts them at risk from lifetime harm (AIHW, 2014a,b). Alcohol is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. Up to 10% of cancers, 20% of intentional injuries, and 7% of all deaths and 3.9% of disability-adjusted life years can be attributed to excessive alcohol use. Heavy drinking also increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, unintentional injuries, and cancer. It is implicated in a significant number of hospital admissions and imposes a significant cost burden on society. Heavier consumption has been consistently associated with poorer quality of life and increased mortality (Rehm et al., 2015b; National Health and Medical Research Council, 2009). The effects of high-risk drinking on the body are shown in Fig. 23.1.Lifetime risky drinkers (1 in 5 in the population) are defined as people who consume more than two standard drinks per day (on average over a 12-month period). Single-occasion risky drinkers (1 in 4 in the population) are defined as people consuming five or more standard drinks on a single drinking occasion (AIHW, 2014a,b).

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLifestyle Medicine
    Subtitle of host publicationLifestyle, the Environment and Preventive Medicine in Health and Disease: Third Edition
    PublisherAcademic Press
    Number of pages16
    Edition3rd Edition
    ISBN (Electronic)9780128104262
    ISBN (Print)9780128104019
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2017


    • Addiction
    • Alcohol
    • Behavior
    • Hazardous drinking
    • Smoking
    • Smoking cessation


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