Prevalence of Tobacco Use Among Young People in Australia
"Involvement with smoking became more common as adolescents progress through secondary school.
"In 2014, 81% of all secondary students in Australia had no experience with smoking. While the proportion of students who had never smoked decreased with age, 61% of 17-year-olds had still never smoked.
"Around three per cent of all students had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, which peaked at eight per cent for 17-year-olds.
"The proportion of students smoking in the previous four weeks (past-month smokers) increased from one per cent of 12-year-olds to 17% of 17-year-olds.
"The proportion of students who were current smokers in 2014 increased from one per cent of 12-year-olds to 12% of 17-year-olds.
"Only around three per cent of all students had smoked on three or more of the past seven days (committed smokers), with this peaking at seven per cent of 17-year-olds.
"While in general the prevalence of smoking among male and female students was fairly similar, there were some differences with most of these found for the older students. For 16- and 17-year-olds, while more males than females had smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime (p<0.01), more females than males in these two ages had smoked in the past year (p<0.01). Smoking in the past seven days was more common for males than females aged 16 (p<0.01). Committed smoking was more common among males than females aged 16 and 17 years (p<0.01). Differences at the other ages were: 14-year-olds, more females than males smoked in the past month (p<0.01); 12-year-olds, more males than females smoked on three or more of the past seven days (p<0.01).
"Extrapolating the sample results to the Australian student population, it is estimated that just under 81,000 12- to 17-year-olds students in Australia had smoked at least one cigarette in the seven days preceding the survey (current smokers)."
White, Victoria and Williams, Tahlia, "Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2014" (Oct. 2016), Prepared for the Drug Strategy Branch, Australian Government Department of Health, by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at The Cancer Council Victoria, p. 29.