Ill smokers do not receive treatment from doctors as fast as they would if they did not smoke, according to Australian and New Zealand Society of Vascular Surgeons’ President, Dr John Quinn.
This alarming but sobering fact comes after a doctor in Scotland admitted he refused to accept GP referrals for patients who continued to smoke when they were sick.
The Australian Medial Association says this hardline approach is not acceptable.
“It’s the same thing with obesity, we wouldn’t not treat a patients diabetes,” says AMA president Dr Brian Owler, who believes doctors should be educating and supporting these people struggling with addiction.
Smoking is considered the largest preventable cause of death and disease in Australia – with a tobacco-related death about every 28 minutes in Australia, resulting in more than 50 deaths each day – however, Australian smoking rates are dropping.
Well below international standards already, Australia’s daily smoking rates between 1964 and 2010 have dropped from 43% to 16%.
Less young people are also taking up the habit.
“In 2001, about one-quarter of 18 to 24 year olds smoked daily… by 2010, this had fallen to 16%,” according to the Federal Government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report titled Australia’s Health 2014.
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