Tobacco control key facts and figures

National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016 key findings

Page last updated: 18 October 2017

On 1 June 2017, the AIHW released the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey key findings.14 The survey was conducted from 18 June to 29 November 2016, with nearly 24,000 people nationally. The report shows that:

  • daily smoking rates among people aged 14 years or older slowed in 2016, only declining slightly from 12.8% in 2013 to 12.2% (not statistically significant);
  • across all age groups, males were more likely to smoke daily than females; 13.8% of males aged 14 years or older smoked compared with 10.7% for females;
  • fewer teenagers smoked, the proportion who had never smoked more than 100 cigarettes significantly increased between 2013 and 2016, from 95% to 98%;
  • younger people delayed the take up of smoking, the average age at which 14 to 24 year olds smoked their first full cigarette increased from 14.2 years in 1995 to 16.3 years in 2016, significantly increasing from 15.9 years in 2013;
  • the average number of cigarettes smoked per week slightly reduced between 2013 (96 cigarettes) and in 2016 (94 cigarettes);
  • roll-your-own cigarettes noticeably increased among smokers aged under 40 years, increasing by 82% for young adults and 70% for smokers in their 30s between 2007 and 2016;
  • between 2013 and 2016, there was a significant increase in the proportion of smokers in their 30s smoking roll-your-own cigarettes, from 29% to 37%, respectively; and
  • in 2016, young adults (50%) were the age group most likely to smoke roll-your-own cigarettes, use of roll-your-own cigarettes then declined as age increased.
Year 1993 1995 1998 2001 2004 2007 2010 2013 2016
Table 2 Decrease in Australian smoking prevalence 1993 to 201315,16
14+ yrs 25.0 23.8 21.8 19.4 17.5 16.6 15.1 12.8# 12.2
18+ yrs 26.1* 25.0 22.7 20.0 18.2 17.5 15.9 13.3# 12.8

*age group 20+ for 1993
# statistically significant change between 2010 and 2013
NOTE: Comparisons between the AIHW (NDSHS) and the ABS data cannot be made as they use different methodologies.


14 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) 2016 key findings. Available at: www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/ndshs-2016-key-findings/contents/summary
15 Figures for 1991, 1993, and 1995 are from AIHW unpublished data.1998 to 2010 data is from the 2010 NDSHS report, Supplementary table, released on the AIHW website, 5 November 2010.2013 data available on the AIHW website :www.aihw.gov.au/
16 AIHW NDSHS data between1991 to 2013. Data available on the AIHW website :www.aihw.gov.au/