Smoking statistics

In 2018, the daily smoking prevalence among those 15 years and over was 8.6%, which was significantly lower than in 2017 (13.9%).

In 2018, the daily smoking prevalence for females was (8.8%) and males (8.3%) and was highest among 45-59 year olds (15.7%), followed by 30-44 year olds (10.6%), 15-29 year olds (4.5%), and those aged 60 years and over (4.3%).

Further data on smoking for 2018 are available from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) website.

Smoking among South Australian secondary school students

The proportion of secondary school students who had ever used smoked has decreased significantly since 1996.

Results from the 2017 Australian School Students’ Alcohol and Drugs (ASSAD) Survey for South Australia show that in 2017, only 10.2% of secondary school students aged 12 to 17 years had ever smoked, and 2.4% had smoked in the last week (2.8% of male students and 2% of female students). The decrease in ever having smoked from 13.8% in 2014 to 10.2% in 2017 was statistically significant, while smoking in the last year remained stable.

In 2017 there were differences in smoking prevalence by age group: those aged 16-17 years were significantly more likely to have ever smoked (14.9% vs. 7.7% of those aged 12-15 years) or to have smoked in the last week (4.6% vs. 1.3%).

The proportion of current smokers in 2017 was significantly higher among 16-17 year olds than 12-15 year olds; as well as among respondents living in the most disadvantaged areas; respondents with a diagnosed mental health condition and respondents with ‘average’ self-reported school ability. Having friends who smoke was associated with a 100-fold increase in the likelihood of current smoking compared with not having friends that smoke. Increased likelihood of smoking was also associated with having a parent and/or siblings who smoke.

Almost 9% of students in 2017 had ever used e-cigarettes, stable from 2014 (10.3%). Use of e-cigarettes was significantly higher among 16-17 year olds (12%) compared with 12-15 year olds (7.3%). Male students (11.2%) were significantly more likely than female students (6.3%) to have ever used e-cigarettes.

The national report Australian secondary schools students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2017 is available from the National Drug Strategy website.