Huge fall in Australian smoking rates
Smoking rates over the past three years have seen one of the biggest drops ever recorded.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare conducts the definitive National Drug Strategy Household Survey, which has been keenly awaited after claims that tobacco consumption rose last year after the introduction of plain paper packaging.
The preliminary results of the 2013 survey, which questioned 24,000 people last year between August and November, show that daily smoking rates fell from 15.1 per cent in 2010 to 12.8 per cent in 2013.
As well as fewer smokers, consumption was down, with the average number of cigarettes smoked per week dropping from 111 in 2010 to 96 in 2013.
“This is the biggest drop I’ve ever seen. This is champagne-cork pulling time,” professor Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health said on Thursday.
“It’s almost like the equivalent of developing a very good vaccine against lung cancer. The survey was taken before the December 2013 price rise – the only major factor that would explain this is the introduction of plain packaging.”
Source: Australian Financial Review
AIHW official report
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