Smoking tobacco is recognised as one of the largest preventable causes of death and disease in Australia. Each year, smoking kills an estimated 15,000 Australians (footnote 1
) and costs Australia $31.5 billion (footnote 2
) in social (including health) and economic costs.
The Australian Government and state and territory governments, through the Council of Australian Governments, have committed by 2018, to reduce the national adult daily smoking rate to 10% and halve the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult daily smoking rate (from 47% in 2008).
Evaluation of Tobacco Plain Packaging in Australia
On 19 March 2015, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) released a special supplement of their publication Tobacco Control, containing 15 peer-reviewed articles outlining the results of the first comprehensive evaluation of tobacco plain packaging legislation.
The BMJ Tobacco Control special supplement contains a number of studies undertaken by various authors, including articles relating to the following work commissioned by the Department:
- The National Monthly Tobacco Plain Packaging Tracking Survey;
- The evaluation of the early effects of tobacco plain packaging on adolescents; and
- Research relating to Australian cigar smokers.
Further information on the research work and links to the articles are available on the Evaluation of Tobacco Plain Packaging in Australia page
National Drug Strategy Household Survey
On 25 November 2014, AIHW’s National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report
2013 (NDSHS) (footnote 3
) was released showing that there has been a significant decrease in daily smokers aged 14 years or older
in Australia, falling from 16.6% in 2007, to 15.1% in 2010, to 12.8% in 2013
(see table 1
The NDSHS also reports that smoking rates have almost halved in the last 20 years, from 1993 to 2013, for daily smokers aged 18 years or older, from 26.1% to 13.3%
(see table 2
Other tobacco related findings from the NDSHS detailed report 2013 (see table 3
- Young people are delaying commencing smoking - the age at which 14 to 24 year olds smoked their first full cigarette increased from 15.4 years of age in 2010 to 15.9 years of age in 2013.
- The proportion of 12-17 year olds who had never smoked in 2013 remained high at 95%
- The proportion of 18 to 24 year olds who have never smoked increased significantly between 2010 and 2013, from 72% to 77% respectively.
- People aged 18 to 49 years of age were far less likely to smoke daily than they were 12 years ago.
- The average number of cigarettes smoked per week has decreased from 111 cigarettes in 2010 to 96 cigarettes in 2013. Top of page
Table 1: Daily smokers aged 14 years or older from 1991 to 2013 (footnote 4)
Table 2: Daily smokers aged 18 years or older from 1991 to 2013 (footnote 5)
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Table 3: Comparison of 2010 and 2013 State and Territory tobacco smoking status, people aged 14 years or older, by sex and jurisdiction (aged-standardised) (footnote 6)
Data for 2010
Data for 2013
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Tobacco control links National Tobacco Strategy
- a policy framework to improve health and reduce the social costs caused by tobacco.
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
- a treaty to address the health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption worldwide
- Australian legislation bans tobacco advertising (with some exceptions)
- health warnings are required on tobacco products sold in Australia
Plain packaging of tobacco products
Australian cigarette ingredient disclosure
Australian cigarette emissions data
Reduced-ignition propensity cigarettes
Environmental tobacco smoke
Tobacco product regulation and disclosure Top of page