The research is the first evidence from a broad cross-section of the population to show the smoking-related death toll is as high as two thirds, researchers said.
"We knew smoking was bad but we now have direct independent evidence that confirms the disturbing findings that have been emerging internationally," said lead author Professor Emily Banks, Scientific Director of the Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study and a researcher at the Australian National University.
"Our findings are an important reminder that the war on tobacco is not yet won, and tobacco control efforts must go on," Banks said.
The research also found that compared with non-smokers, smoking just 10 cigarettes a day doubles the risk of dying and smoking a pack a day increases the risk four- to five-fold.
The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine.


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