NSW Health is committed to reducing tobacco-related harm following a gradual decline in smoking rates among NSW adults from 19.7 per cent in 2007 to 11.2 per cent in 2019, with rates stabilising in recent years.

Although the smoking rates is gradually declining, tobacco smoking remains one of the leading preventable causes of preventable disease and death in NSW, accounting for around 62,930 hospitalisations (2018-19) and 6,702 deaths in 2018. Therefore, the NSW Government has been implementing comprehensive approaches to continue reduced smoking rates. These include public awareness and education campaigns for quitting smoking, smoke-free laws, tobacco retailing restrictions, and quit smoking services. This work is complemented by Australian Government actions such as increasing taxes and plain packaging laws.

NSW Tobacco Strategy

The NSW Tobacco Strategy 2012 - 2021 guides the NSW Government on ways to reduce smoking and harm associated with tobacco use. It outlines a comprehensive set of policies, programs and regulatory initiatives to reduce smoking rates.

NSW Health Tobacco Strategy Work Plan

The NSW Health Tobacco Strategy Work Plan 2019-2021 supports the implementation of the NSW Tobacco Strategy. The Work Plan focuses on encouraging priority population groups with high smoking rates such as Aboriginal people and pregnant women to quit and stay quit and improving health services in integrating smoking cessation into routine clinical practice.

Some approaches to tobacco control in NSW include:

  • banning smoking and using e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas through the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000
  • implementing the NSW Health Smoke-free Health Care Policy which requires all NSW Health buildings, grounds and vehicles are smoke-free
  • increasing community awareness of the smoking and using e-cigarette bans in smoke-free areas
  • limiting access to and supply of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to prevent the uptake of smoking by enforcing the Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008
  • implementing the Public Health Information Management System (PHIMS) Tobacco System to improve data collection, monitoring and reporting of tobacco compliance activities
  • supporting retailers with online registration and training, a public register of tobacco retailers to ensure they comply with tobacco retailing laws
  • implementing smoking cessation during pregnancy program
  • implementing programs to reduce smoking among populations with high smoking rates:
    • the Quit for New Life program to support smoking cessation for pregnant Aboriginal women and women having an Aboriginal baby
    • the A-TRAC program to build tobacco control capacity of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and the staff employed within these service
    • development of the ATRAC Framework - a strategic framework for Aboriginal tobacco resistance and control in NSW
    • a partnership with Cancer Council NSW to conduct a tackling tobacco trial to improve cessation for people with mental health
    • implementing smoke-free correctional facilities.
  • working closely with primary care providers and organisations to ensure smoking cessation is provided to patients as part of routine care
  • supporting smokers to quit through the NSW Quitline , Aboriginal Quitline and iCanQuit
  • providing the Tobacco Information Line (1800 357 412), a telephone service for anyone who has queries about tobacco control
  • working closely with the Commonwealth, State, local government and non-government stakeholders.

Current as at: Tuesday 24 January 2023
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health