The ABS National Health Survey 2017-18 data released today disproves the misleading claims from anti-vaping campaigners that using smoke-free products is a gateway to smoking.
The data shows that smoking rates have flattened, adding to mounting evidence that existing methods encouraging smokers to quit are failing.
In 2017-18, just under one in seven (13.8 per cent) or 2.6 million adults were daily smokers. This is less than a one per cent decrease since 2014-15, when 14.5 per cent of adults aged 18 years and over were daily smokers.
ABS Director of Health Statistics, Louise Gates was quoted in the media release:
"In 2017-18 the proportion of adults who were current daily smokers was 13.8 per cent unchanged from 14.5 per cent in 2014-15."
E-cigarette use has not translated into a smoking epidemic, with adult and youth smoking continuing to decrease.
- The number of adults smoking fell from 14.5 per cent in 2014-15 to 13.8 per cent in 2017-18.
- In 2017-18, 1.9 per cent of 15-17 years olds were daily smokers, down from 2.7 per cent of 15-17 year olds in 2014 -15.
It is estimated that 242,675 Australians currently vape (based on the most recent National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016 responses and current population data).
If the Australian Government is serious about continuing to reduce smoking rates then they cannot continue to ignore smoke-free products, which 50 scientific studies show are less harmful than cigarettes or can help to quit smoking.
Politicians cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand – we need to legalise smoke-free options to help all Australians quit smoking for good.
Note: In Australia, anti-vaping campaigners claim that a legalised, well-regulated nicotine vaping product is just as dangerous than the cancer-causing smoke from a cigarette – despite all the evidence disproving that.
You can review the 50 scientific studies which show smoke-free products are less harmful than cigarettes or can help people quit smoking for good at www.legalisevaping.com.au/latest_research