The AMA is urging all smokers to put their health first in 2008 by making a New Year's resolution to quit smoking for good.
AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said today that making a clean start at the beginning of the year was an ideal way to tackle the difficult goal of quitting smoking.
"Quitting is hard at the best of times, so the New Year is a great time to start before other sources of stress can distract you from your goal," Dr Capolingua said.
Smoking is the cause of a number of life-threatening and debilitating conditions including lung cancer, breast and cervical cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, gum disease, eye disease, impotence, and miscarriage.
The combination of smoking and excess alcohol consumption greatly increases a person's risk of developing mouth and throat cancers.
"The list of diseases is just endless - when you know the consequences, there is no good excuse not to give up smoking," Dr Capolingua said.
"We know that smoking doesn't only harm the individual but also anyone who is exposed to secondary tobacco smoke, like family members - especially children and the elderly.
"Breathing other people's cigarette smoke is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, asthma and other respiratory diseases, ear infection, and sudden infant death syndrome.
"Quitting will be the best thing smokers can do for their health, and for the health of those around them."
Dr Capolingua said smokers wanting to quit should visit their GP for support, information, and advice about any concerns they may have.
According to the Cancer Council, GP advice on how to quit smoking results in greater motivation and more successful quit attempts.
"It can be tough to try and quit on your own," Dr Capolingua said.
"Your GP can help you develop an action plan designed to suit your needs and to help you stay smoke free in the future.
"Regular check-ups with your doctor while you're quitting can help you measure your progress and stay on-track to achieve your goals."
Anyone wanting to quit smoking can call Quitline for advice on 13 78 48.