Recent data has shown that the campaign to reduce smoking habits of Australians over the last half a dozen years has failed as smoking rates among men actually increased in that time.
The Daily Telegraph reported on the figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare which showed smoking among young men, 25-29, had seen an increase.
Rates among young men had risen from 17.3 per cent to 19.3 per cent between 2013 and 2016 alone.
Smoking among older men, 40-49, also saw an increase.
Recent data has shown that the campaign to reduce smoking habits of Australians over the last half a dozen years has failed as smoking rates among men actually increased in that time
The overall rate of smoking among Australians only saw a very slight reduction of .6 per cent from 12.8 per cent after to 12.2 per cent between 2013 and 2016.
In 2012 the Federal Government introduced a number of initiatives to try and influence the smoking trend which included plain packaging and a recurring tax rise on the product.
However it has done little to discourage long term smokers from the habit.
To make matters worse, the government’s war on smoking will slug ordinary Australians an extra 12.5 per cent in taxes in each of the next two years.
Ryan Robinson, 27, who started smoking at 13 and now gets through four packs of 20 a week, said higher prices wouldn’t stop him or anyone else.
‘People will smoke anyway and the government knows it,’ he told Daily Mail Australia from the smokers area of Maloney’s Hotel in Sydney’s CBD in September.
Overall rate of smoking among Australians only saw a very slight reduction of .6 per cent from 12.8 per cent after to 12.2 per cent between 2013 and 2016 after introduction of plain packaging and tobacco tax
‘It’s the same as speeding fines and alcohol taxes, it’s just an easy way for them to make cash off something many people need.’
The original aim of the campaign against tobacco was to reduce the rate of smoking Australians to just 10 per cent.
However figures found that the rate of Australians still smoking is hovering around the 14 per cent mark.
Australia now has the most expensive cigarettes in the world – double New York City where they hit US$13 ($17) a pack earlier this year after a sharp increase.
Then Treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the latest tax increase in the Federal Budget in May in a bid to curve smoking.
However, spending on smoking increased in the last quarter of 2017 by 2.6 per cent to just under $4 billion – the first time it rose in generations.
Australians spent about $16 billion on smoking last year as ABS trend measurement of underlying cigarette consumption has been going up since December 2016.
The original aim of the campaign against tobacco was to reduce the rate of smoking Australians to just 10 per cent but as of 2016 the rate sits at 14 per cent
Experts were starting to admit having some of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the world – including plain packaging, high taxes, and widespread location bans – was no longer working.
‘While smoking rates have been on a long-term downward trend, for the first time in more than two decades the daily smoking rate did not significantly decline over the most recent three-year period,’ the 2016 national drug strategy found.
Experts told The Daily Telegraph one reason why they feel the campaign has faltered is alack of advertising.
They claim federal funding of mass advertising educating smokers about the dangers have fallen short.
However a crucial positive to come from the campaign was a reduction in the number of youths smoking.
The institute stated that the amount of people aged over 14 who smoked daily had dropped from 24 per cent to just 14 per cent.
And the number of youths aged between 14-19 who had never smoked rose to from 75 per cent to 94 per cent.
There was also a staggering decline in the number of people who chose to smoke around children and other dependents in the home, dropping from 31 per cent in 1995 to just 2.8 per cent in 2016.
SMOKING RATES BY THE NUMBERS
- Overall smoking rate among Australians: Slight reduction of .6 per cent from 12.8 per cent after to 12.2 per cent between 2013 and 2016
- Men aged 25-29: Risen from 17.3 per cent to 19.3 per cent between 2013 and 2016
- People aged 14 and older: 12 per cent smoke daily which was a drop from 24 per cent in 1991
- Adults smoking in households with dependent children: Dropped from 31 per cent in 1995 to just 2.8 per cent in 2016
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare