NSW smoking rates at all-time low

24 May, 2016

New NSW Health data shows adult smoking rates have dropped by more than two per cent since 2014.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the 2015 adult smoking rate in NSW was 13.5 per cent, down from 15.6 per cent in 2014.

"This is no small feat - just a few decades ago smoking was so prevalent it was allowed in our workplaces, homes, cars, buses and trains," Skinner said.

"Since 2012, smoking rates across NSW have continued to decline, from 17.1 per cent to the current rate of 13.5 per cent.

"These reductions are significant and represent a growing number of people who choose not to smoke and therefore increase their quality of life and longevity."

NSW Health has invested in major policy and program efforts to reduce the rate of smoking by reducing its uptake and supporting people to quit. Efforts include Quitline, social marketing quit campaigns, laws that regulate the sale, display and advertising of tobacco products and smoke-free laws.

The NSW Tobacco Strategy, launched in 2012, set the course for the NSW Government to reduce the harm of tobacco smoking. This included the introduction of smoking bans in a range of outdoor public places in 2013 and commercial outdoor dining areas in 2015.

Skinner said significant challenges remain, with a continued high rate of smoking among Aboriginal people.

"In 2015, 34.9 per cent of Aboriginal people smoked. Smoking is a leading preventable cause of poor health and early death among Aboriginal people and we will continue to focus our work on this area of the community," Skinner said.

For further details about tobacco control in NSW, visit www.health.nsw.gov.au. For support to quit smoking, visit www.iCanQuit.com.au or ring the Quitline on 13 78 48