4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/03/2019   
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MEDIA RELEASE

27 March 2019
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra Time)
Smoking rates fall in Western Australia

Daily smoking rates in Western Australia have almost halved since 1995 (from 23.0 per cent to 11.8 per cent) and it was the only state in Australia to record a decrease in daily smoking rates between 2014-15 and 2017-18 (from 14.3 per cent to 11.8 per cent), 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 that this was mainly due to a decrease in daily smoking among men down from 17.0 per cent in 2014-15 to 13.6 per cent in 2017-18.

“Despite this, men continued to be more likely to smoke daily than women (13.6 per cent compared with 10.1 per cent),” Ms Gates said.

“The survey also showed that almost one in five (18.7 per cent) adults consumed more than two standard drinks per day on average, exceeding the lifetime risk guideline. This was higher than the national rate (16.1 per cent) and although it was a decline from 2011-12 (25.4 per cent), the rate remained similar to 2014-15 (20.8 per cent).

“Other results from the survey show that in 2017-18, more than one in six (17.8 per cent) people in Western Australia had a mental or behavioural condition, up from 14.6 per cent in 2014-15 but lower than the national rate of one in five people (20.1 per cent).”

One in nine West Australians (11.0 per cent) had an anxiety-related condition and one in 12 (8.3 per cent) had depression or feelings of depression. Overall, mental and behavioural conditions were more common in females (20.7 per cent) compared with males (14.3 per cent).

“In positive news, around three in five (59.4 per cent) 18-64 year olds said they had undertaken 150 minutes or more of exercise in the week before the survey, and this increased to 70.9 per cent when workplace physical activity was included. This was higher than the national rate (55.4 per cent and 65.5 per cent respectively),” 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, www.abs.gov.au.

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.