National Tobacco Strategy

The National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018 (NTS) sets out a national policy framework for the Commonwealth and state and territory governments to work together and in collaboration with non-government organisations to improve the health of all Australians.

Page last updated: 23 October 2017

The National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018 (NTS 2012-2018) sets out a national  policy framework for the Australian Government and state and territory governments to work together and in collaboration with non-government organisations (NGOs) to improve the health of all Australians by reducing the prevalence of smoking and its associated health, social and economic costs, and the inequalities it causes 

The NTS 2012-2018 was developed by the then Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs Standing Committee on tobacco as a sub-strategy under the National Drug Strategy 2010-2015.

At the 9 November 2012 meeting of the then Standing Council on Health, the Commonwealth, state and territory Health Ministers endorsed the NTS 2012-2018 and agreed to its release.

Part Seven of the NTS 2012-2018 notes that in order to assess whether Australia is on track to meet the Council of Australian Governments performance benchmark for tobacco, a mid-point review of progress would be undertaken.

Council of Australian Governments (COAG) tobacco performance benchmark

The COAG performance benchmark for tobacco uses the results from the National Health Survey (NHS) to monitor changes in smoking prevalence in the general population using age standardised rates.

Under the COAG National Healthcare Agreement (NHA)1 by 2018, Australian governments have committed to:

  • reducing the daily national smoking rate among Australian adults (aged 18 years or older) from 19.1% (age-standardised) in 2007-08 to 10%; and
  • halving the daily national smoking rate among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults (aged 18 years or older) from 47.7%2 (44.8% age-standardised) in the same period.

Mid-point Review of the National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018

The Mid-point review of the NTS 2012-2018 included two components: a data analysis component, which was undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and a policy analysis component, undertaken by Health Policy Analysis Pty Ltd (HPA). Work on both reports was undertaken in 2016.

Findings from the mid-point review will assist the Commonwealth, states and territories and relevant NGOs in developing and implementing priorities in tobacco control for the remainder of the NTS 2012-2018. The findings will also provide a useful resource in the development of a new NTS beyond 2018.


1 COAG Report on Performance 2016.(coag.gov.au/performance-reporting)
2 Rate from ABS, 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, used as a baseline figure by the COAG Reform Council.


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