Smoking rates falling in western Sydney

Smoking rates
Smoking rates are falling in western Sydney.

NSW Health data has shown there has been a drop in smoking rates from 18% in 2007 to 14% in 2016 in Western Sydney Local Health District’s (WSLHD), demonstrating that the NSW Government’s efforts to curb smoking are working.

WSLHD’s Population Health team has been working hard to stamp out the habit in the region by:

  • Enforcing tobacco laws with retailers
  • Supporting smoke-free dining inspections at restaurants and cafes
  • Supporting Western Sydney University and Western Sydney TAFE to become smoke-free, and
  • Supporting WSLHD staff to provide support to smokers

NSW Health’s Executive Director of Population Health Dr Jo Mitchell said the NSW Government, through the Cancer Institute NSW has invested more than $22 million on public awareness and education campaigns for smoking cessation and initiatives such as the NSW Quitline and iCanQuit services.

They have also awarded more than $2 million to local community and health organisations to promote smoking cessation.

“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 will continue to work to reduce this figure rate fall much further.

“The rate of smoking among secondary school students is also at an all-time low of 6.7%

“Enforcement and tough laws have also played a key role in these results, with more than 23,200 tobacco retailers inspected from July 2016 to June 2017,” Dr Mitchell said.

More than 2,200 inspections of smoke-free outdoor areas were 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.

If you’re ready to kick the habit, join ICanQuit today: