More people have never smoked in NSW


Over half (56.1 per cent) of adults in New South Wales in 2017-18 have never smoked, an increase from 52.0 per cent in 2014-15, according to new data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Director of Health, Louise Gates, said the 2017-18 National Health Survey showed this increase was driven by young adults.

“Nearly three quarters (73.0 per cent) of 18-24 year olds have never smoked, an increase from 64.5 per cent in 2014-15,” Ms Gates said.

“The survey also found that around two thirds (65.9 per cent) of adults in New South Wales were overweight or obese, similar to 63.2 per cent in 2014-15 and an increase from 61.1 per cent in 2011-12. More men than women were overweight or obese (73.9 per cent compared with 58.0 per cent).

“The rate of adults in New South Wales exceeding the single occasion alcohol risk guidelines (consuming more than four standard drinks on one occasion in the past year) was lower than the national rate (39.1 per cent compared with 42.1 per cent)."

The survey also revealed that the proportion of people who had a mental or behavioural condition in 2017-18 had remained relatively stable since 2014-15 (19.1 per cent compared with 17.8 per cent).

“Anxiety-related conditions were the most common mental or behavioural conditions with one in eight (12.3 per cent) affected in 2017-18. Females were more likely than males to experience anxiety-related conditions (14.1 per cent and 10.6 per cent respectively).

“More positively, more than half (57.3 per cent) of 18-64 year olds undertook 150 minutes or more of exercise in the week before the survey, excluding workplace physical activity and this increased to 66.6 per cent when workplace physical activity was included,” Ms Gates said.

For further information about these and related statistics see publication National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001), available for free download from the ABS website,

Media note

  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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  • The survey was conducted in all States and Territories and across urban, rural and remote areas of Australia (excluding very remote areas) from July 2017 to June 2018. The survey included around 21,000 people in over 16,000 private dwellings.
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