More young people have never smoked


Young people aged 18-24 are more likely to have never smoked than a decade ago according to new health data for 2017-18 released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

ABS Director of Health Statistics, Louise Gates said the 2017-18 National Health Survey found that one in seven people aged 18-24 were current daily smokers while three in four had never smoked. This was an improvement on the 64 per cent in 2007-08 and 69 per cent in 2014-15 who had never smoked.

“There was also an increase in the proportion of all adults who had never smoked from 49 per cent in 2007-08 to 53 per cent in 2014-15 and 56 per cent in 2017-18," Ms Gates said. "This was primarily driven by the increase in young people who had never smoked.”

"In 2017-18 the proportion of adults who were current daily smokers was 13.8 per cent unchanged from 14.5 per cent in 2014-15."

"The survey also reveals that young people smoked less than their older counterparts. Daily smokers aged 18-24 averaged 9.5 cigarettes per day compared with 13.8 for those aged 45 and over. "

"More than one in four (27 per cent) 18-24 year old daily smokers smoked one to four cigarettes per day and 13 per cent smoked 20 or more per day (considered a pack a day smoker). In comparison, 10 per cent of those aged 45 and over smoked one to four cigarettes per day, while 30 per cent smoked 20 or more per day," Ms Gates said.

Further details are in National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4364.0.55.001) from the ABS website

    Media notes

    • 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 Media Team on or 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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