National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011

3.3 How easy do students think it is to purchase cigarettes?

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In 2011 students were asked to indicate their perceptions regarding how easy it would be for them to purchase cigarettes from local shops themselves and by getting someone else to buy cigarettes for them.

Table 3.7: Percentage of students at each age believing it would be easy or very easy for them to purchase cigarettes themselves or by getting someone else to buy cigarettes for them, Australia, 2011

Easy/very easy to buy cigarettes themselves
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
11.2
13.0
12.9
17.1
26.3
31.4
17.5
Females
10.7
10.1
11.3
13.7
18.4
24.9
14.2
Total
10.9
11.5
12.1
15.4
22.3
28.0
15.8

Easy/very easy to get others to buy cigarettes
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
26.5
33.8
42.8
51.3
61.7
63.5
44.8
Females
22.4
32.3
40.8
51.6
60.9
68.1
44.4
Total
24.4
33.0
41.8
51.5
61.3
65.9
44.6
Table 3.7 shows that 16% of all students thought it would be easy or very easy for them to purchase cigarettes themselves. The proportion believing this increased with age (p<0.01) and peaked among 17-year-olds at 28%.

A greater proportion of students thought it would be easy or very easy to get someone else to buy cigarettes for them (45%) and this belief increased with age (p<0.01), from 24% at 12 years to 66% at 17 years.

Table 3.8 presents the proportion of current smokers who believe it would be easy or very easy for them to purchase cigarettes themselves or to get others to buy cigarettes for them and compares these beliefs to those of students who were not current smokers.Top of page

Table 3.8: Percentage of students who are current smokers# or not in each age believing it would be easy or very easy for them to purchase cigarettes themselves or by getting someone else to buy cigarettes for them, Australia, 2011

Current smokers

Easy/very easy to buy cigarettes themselves
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
22.7
19.5
26.8
47.4
45.1
53.4
42.7
Females
18.9
18.9
15.4
31.2
41.3
46.4
35.2
Total
20.9
19.2
21.7
40.0
43.2
50.0
39.1

Easy/very easy to get others to buy cigarettes
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
67.5
48.5
70.4
72.4
75.4
82.5
74.0
Females
56.1
67.7
76.5
76.6
81.6
81.1
78.0
Total
61.9
58.2
73.2
74.3
78.5
81.8
75.9

Non-current smokers

Easy/very easy to buy cigarettes themselves
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
11.2
13.0
12.9
17.1
26.3
31.4
17.5
Females
10.7
10.1
11.3
13.7
18.4
24.9
14.2
Total
10.9
11.5
12.1
15.4
22.3
28.0
15.8

Easy/very easy to get others to buy cigarettes
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
26.5
33.8
42.8
51.3
61.7
63.5
44.8
Females
22.4
32.3
40.8
51.6
60.9
68.1
44.4
Total
24.4
33.0
41.8
51.5
61.3
65.9
44.6

# Current smokers: students who smoked on any of the past seven days.

Over all ages, 43% of male and 35% of female students who were current smokers thought it would be easy or very easy for them to buy cigarettes themselves.

Across all age groups most current smokers (76%) thought it would be easy or very easy to get others to buy cigarettes for them.

Figure 3.2 shows the proportion of current smokers believing it would be easy or very easy for them to buy cigarettes or to get someone else to buy cigarettes for them by whether they purchased their last cigarette or not. 2011 Top of page

Figure 3.2: Percentage of current smokers# aged 12 to 15 years and 16 to 17 years believing it would be easy/very easy for them to buy cigarettes themselves or to get someone else to buy cigarettes for them, by whether they bought their last cigarette or not, 2011


Figure 3.2: Column graph showing the percentage of current smokers# aged 12 to 15 years and 16 to 17 years believing it would be easy/very easy for them to buy cigarettes themselves or to get someone else to buy cigarettes for themDescription of Figure 3.2

# Current smokers: students who smoked on any of the past seven days.

Among both age groups, students who had bought their last cigarette were more likely to believe it would be easy or very easy for them to buy cigarettes for themselves compared to current smokers who did not buy their last cigarette (p<0.01).

Regardless of whether they had bought their last cigarette, at least 70% of current smokers in both age groups thought it would be easy or very easy for them to get someone to buy cigarettes for them.

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