Nine out of 10 adults now live in smoke-free homes thanks to better support in helping people quit, according to the NSW Tobacco Snapshot 2017.
NSW Health’s Executive Director of Population Health Dr Jo Mitchell said the NSW Government’s efforts to curb smoking, the leading cause of disease and premature death across the state, are working.
The NSW Government has invested $4.4 million in the 2017-18 State Budget into services that target chronic health issues, including tobacco control, and $1.8 million into the Cancer Institute NSW’s Quitline and iCanQuit services.
“Smoking is a dangerous habit, not just to smokers but those around them, and we are committed to reducing its impact on our lives,” Dr Mitchell said.
“That’s why I’m pleased to see our efforts result in a continued drop in smoking across NSW, from around 20 per cent in 2007 down to 15 per cent in 2016. Importantly, we’ve also seen the smoking rate in Aboriginal populations drop from around 43 per cent in 2008 to 40 per cent in 2016, but we would like to see this rate fall much further.
NSW Health is investing in a number of grants and programs that target Aboriginal and multicultural communities.
“Enforcement and tough laws have also played a key role in these results, with more than 3,200 tobacco retailers inspected from July 2016 to June 2017,” Dr Mitchell said.
During more than 2,200 inspections of smoke-free outdoor areas conducted between July 2016 and June 2017, 99 per cent of people in those areas complied with tough anti-smoking laws.
Businesses are also complying with laws at a consistently high level. Of the 900 tobacco retailers inspected in the same period, 94 per cent complied with laws restricting tobacco sales to minors.
NSW Health will continue to explore more ways to reduce smoking rates.