On World No Tobacco Day, new data shows a 7.3 per cent drop in smoking rates in NSW over the past 15 years.
According to the 2017 Population Health Survey, last year 15.2 per cent of adults smoked in NSW, down from 22.5 per cent in 2002, and more than half of NSW adults have never taken up smoking.
The NSW School Students Health Behaviours Surveys also shows that smoking among secondary students is at an all-time low of 6.7 per cent.
'Tobacco and heart disease' is the theme for World No Tobacco Day 2018 and focuses on the harmful impact of tobacco on the cardiovascular health of people worldwide. It highlights the health and other risks associated with tobacco use, and advocates for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
Smoking increases the risk of many health conditions including coronary heart disease, respiratory disease and cancer. Tobacco use is the second leading cause of cardiovascular diseases, after high blood pressure. Cardiovascular diseases kills more people than any other cause of death worldwide.
The NSW Government will continue to implement a comprehensive approach to reduce smoking rates. These includes public awareness and education campaigns for smoking cessation, quit smoking support, compliance and enforcement of smoke free and tobacco retailing laws, and targeted programs for particularly vulnerable groups.
NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said NSW Health's NSW Tobacco Strategy was working to help people quit smoking for good.
"It's good to see significant progress in tobacco control in NSW but we need to be vigilant to ensure that smoking rates continue to decrease, as there has been a stabilisation of rates in recent years," Dr Chant said.
"It is pleasing that the declines in smoking have been seen across population groups, including young people and Aboriginal people. We also know from the School Health Behaviour Survey that smoking among secondary students is at an all-time low of 6.7%."
World No Tobacco is a good day to talk to someone about quitting and get some help. NSW Health and its partner agencies have a range of initiatives to help smokers to quit smoking and stay quit. Smokers can call the Quitline Service on 131 848 or go to iCanQuit website to receive the latest information on quitting and ongoing support.
Want to learn more about the effects of tobacco? Check out our tobacco drug page here.