|Last updated: December 2017
Suggested citation: Greenhalgh, EM, Bayly, M, & Winstanley, MH. 1.14 Smoking by Australian states and territories. In Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH [editors]. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and issues. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria; 2017. Available from http://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/chapter-1-prevalence/1-13-smoking-states-territories
Smoking prevalence varies across Australian states and territories; however, it is important to note that estimates of prevalence in each state and territory may be less reliable than those for the total population.
Table 1.13.1 sets out estimates for prevalence of smoking for Australians in each state and territory in 2016 among Australians 14 years and older.
Prevalence of daily, regular and current smoking for Australians 14+ by sex, 2016, in each state and territory (Raw percentages, not age adjusted)
National Health Survey
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Health Survey also provides data on smoking prevalence for each state and territory in 2014–15, see Table 1.13.2
Prevalence of daily smoking for Australians 18+, 2014–15, in each state and territory (Raw percentages, not age adjusted)
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Health Survey: First Results, 2014–15 (Table 2.3 Summary health characteristics — States and territories)
To assess changes over time in smoking prevalence between states, data from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey for people aged 18 years and over were weighted to the Australian population appropriate for each survey year and examined by state. As shown in Figure 1.14.1, since 2001, adults in the Northern Territory (NT) have consistently had the highest level of regular smoking among those aged 18+ years (20% in 2016). In 2016, residents of NT were significantly more likely to be regular smokers than people from any other state except Tasmania and Queensland (controlling for age and sex). High smoking rates in the NT may reflect the high percentage of Indigenous Australians residing there—smoking rates among all Indigenous Australians were about 39% in 2014–153—see Section 8.3. About 26% of the residents of the NT are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island origin, compared with 5% or less in all other states and territories.4
Prevalence of regular* smoking,† Australians aged 18+, 2001–16—by each Australian state and territory
Significant linear declines in adult regular smoking prevalence from 2001 to 2016 have been observed in all states and territories (controlling for age and sex). For the most recent period of 2013 to 2016, there were no significant declines in smoking prevalence in any state or territory.
1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report: 2013. Cat. no. PHE 183 Canberra: AIHW, 2014. Available from: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129549469&tab=3
2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) 2016 key findings data tables. Canberra: AIHW, 2017. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/2016-ndshs-detailed/data
3. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4714.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15. 2016. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4714.0
4. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2071.0 - census of population and housing: Reflecting Australia - stories from the census, 2016. 2017. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/2071.0~2016~Main%20Features~Aboriginal%20and%20Torres%20Strait%20Islander%20Population%20Data%20Summary~10