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Is tobacco a problem for you?
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What is tobacco?

​​ Tobacco comes from the dried leaves of the tobacco plant (Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotiana rustica). Other ingredients are added to manufacture a range of tobacco-based products.

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Tobacco smoke is a mixture of almost 7000 different chemical compounds, including nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, acetone, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide. Over seventy of these chemicals have been proven to be carcinogenic (causing cancer).
The major chemical components of tobacco smoke are:

  • Nicotine - the stimulant component in tobacco smoke that causes dependency, as it is highly addictive. Nicotine is a poison.

  • Tar – released when the cigarette is burnt. It is a sticky brown substance that is the main cause of lung and throat cancer in smokers. Tar can also cause unsightly yellow-brown stains on fingers and teeth.

  • Carbon monoxide – a gas that is absorbed by the lungs and binds with red blood cells displacing oxygen. The body then makes more red blood cells to compensate which thickens the blood making it more prone to clotting. This increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and vascular disease.

Immediate effects can include

  • dizziness
  • watery eyes
  • shortness of breath
  • detrimental effect on appearance (breath, teeth, hair and skin)
  • mild feeling of relaxation
  • lightheadedness
  • mild euphoria

How tobacco affects your body

Tap a body part to learn more of the effects Tobacco places on your body.

Long term effects can include

  • cancer of the lung, throat, mouth, lips, gums, kidney and bladder
  • heart disease and stroke
  • emphysema and other lung disease
  • gangrene and other circulatory diseases

General information

Is tobacco a problem for you?

See full support list
  • The Aboriginal Quitline is run by Aboriginal Advisors, who are experts in helping people quit the smokes. Quitline is a telephone-based service, where Advisors give confidential advice and support to people who want to quit smoking.

    Your Aboriginal Advisor can give you tips on how to quit smoking, and help you plan how you will quit. They can also give information about what medications and products could also help you quit.

    Aboriginal Quitline Advisors will help you work out the best way to quit. They will listen and give advice that is suited to you.

    Aboriginal Quitline offers a free call-back service, where an Aboriginal Advisor will call you to check in on how you are going as you quit the smokes.  

    Call Quitline on 13 7848 (13 QUIT) and ask to speak to an Aboriginal Advisor.

    The cost is the same as a local call (can be higher from mobiles).

    Or you can ask for an Aboriginal Advisor to call you by filling in a Request a NSW Quitline Call-Back form.

    Monday to Friday 7.00am – 10.30pm Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 9.00am – 5.00pm

    13 78 48

    More about NSW/ACT Aboriginal Quitline
  • For the cost of a local call (except from mobiles), professional Quitline advisors provide encouragement and support to help you cut down, quit smoking or stay quit. Quitline also offers multilingual services.

    Call Quitline to:

    • Request a free quit kit
    • Talk to the specially trained telephone advisors
    • Take part in the free callback service, where advisors ring back to support you while you are quitting

    Advisors can:

    • Give you information and advice about quitting smoking
    • Help you assess your level of nicotine dependence
    • Provide strategies on preparing to quit and staying quit
    • Provide information on products and services to help you quit
    • Encourage and support you in your quit attempts
    • Assist you to work with lapses or relapse

    Call 13 7848 (13 QUIT) Monday to Friday 7.00am – 10.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.00am – 5.00pm and Public Holidays 9.00am – 5.00pm​. 

    Outside these hours you can leave a message with your name and contact phone number and a Quitline Advisor will call you back.

    Calls from landlines and mobile phones are the cost of a standard call. 

    Support to quit

    Callers can phone the following numbers to speak with a Quitline Advisor in their own language or to leave a message to be called back in their own language. Message instructions are given in the appropriate language.

    Monday to Friday 7.00am – 10.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.00am – 5.00pm, Public Holidays 9.00am – 5.00pm

    13 78 48

    More about NSW/ACT Quitline
  • 1300 DRIVER provides education, information, one-off and ongoing support, and referrals for long haul truck drivers and their families with issues related to health, wellbeing, stress, anxiety, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

    1300 DRIVER (1300 374837) is anonymous, confidential and staffed by experienced health professionals 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Calls from landlines and mobile phones are the cost of a standard call. 

    The service is for long haul truck drivers who: 

    • have questions or experience issues related to alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
    • struggle with managing sleep, long hours, alertness and thinking about stimulants 
    • experience problems relaxing and getting sleep when home
    • struggle with thinking about substances as a way to come down
    • experience anxiety and stress issues as a result of the job demands
    • changing smoking habits to meet work demands

    1300 DRIVER is available via telephone on 1300 DRIVER (1300 374837), Twitter and online at

    24 hour support line

    1300 374 837

    More about 1300 DRIVER
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