Insights from the Australian Public and Healthcare Professionals
Tobacco smoking is the single most important preventable cause of ill health and death in Australia,1 and smoking cessation is the only intervention with the potential to reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in the short and medium-term.
Australia is considered a global benchmark for tobacco control policies, which include significant increases in tobacco excise and import duty, world-leading plain packaging laws, and smoking restrictions in public places. Between 1991 and 2016, the national smoking rate approximately halved from 29.5% to 14.9%,2 which some commentators at least partially attributed to these
policies. However, the most recent statistics indicate no statistically significant reduction in the smoking rate between 2013 and 2016.>sup>3
Given ongoing population growth, this presents the possibility that the number of smokers may have actually started to increase.