National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

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

3.5 How likely are students to smoke in the next year?

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Students were asked: ‘Do you think you will be smoking this time next year?’, and chose a response from those listed below in Table 3.11.

Table 3.11: Students’ intention to smoke in the next 12 months, Australia,

Certain not to smoke
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
87.8
84.4
77.8
75.8
69.8
67.0
77.7
Females
87.4
82.7
77.0
71.6
68.4
68.5
76.3
Total
87.6
83.5
77.4
73.7
69.1
67.8
77.0

Unlikely/very unlikely to smoke
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
9.7
12.5
14.5
15.9
17.1
18.3
14.4
Females
10.3
12.4
15.2
17.8
18.6
17.0
15.1
Total
10.0
12.4
14.8
16.9
17.9
17.6
14.8

Undecided
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
2.3
1.7
4.6
3.2
7.5
8.0
4.3
Females
1.4
3.6
4.8
6.7
7.6
8.0
5.2
Total
1.9
2.6
4.7
4.9
7.5
8.0
4.8

Likely/very likely to smoke
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
0.1
0.8
2.2
3.4
4.4
4.9
2.5
Females
0.7
1.1
2.6
3.4
4.5
5.6
2.8
Total
0.4
1.0
2.4
3.4
4.4
5.2
2.7

Certain to smoke
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Males
87.8
84.4
77.8
75.8
69.8
67.0
77.7
Females
87.4
82.7
77.0
71.6
68.4
68.5
76.3
Total
87.6
83.5
77.4
73.7
69.1
67.8
77.0

# Percentage of students in each age group indicating each response category.

The majority of students in each age and gender group indicated that they were ‘certain not to smoke’ in the next 12 months with 77% of all students indicating this. With increasing age there was a decline in students’ resolve not to smoke, which was similar among males and females.

Five per cent of all students indicated they were undecided about smoking in the next 12 months. Only around three per cent of all students thought it at least likely they would be smoking in the next 12 months, including one per cent who were certain they would be smoking.

Table 3.12 shows smoking intentions of current smokers, by age.

Table 3.12: Intention to smoke in the next 12 months among current smokers#, Australia, 2011

Current smokers
12 yrs
(%)
13 yrs
(%)
14 yrs
(%)
15 yrs
(%)
16 yrs
(%)
17 yrs
(%)
Total
Certain not to smoke
9.3
18.6
12.9
6.8
8.3
6.8
9.0
Unlikely/very unlikely to smoke
35.6
23.5
15.2
20.7
22.6
22.6
21.8
Undecided
33.1
28.5
29.9
25.3
31.5
32.0
30.1
Likely/very likely to smoke
22.0
22.0
31.1
35.5
30.1
31.2
30.7
Certain to smoke
0.0
7.3
10.9
11.7
7.4
7.4
8.4

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

Around 40% of current smokers were likely or certain to be smoking in the next 12 months.

Nine per cent of all current smokers were certain they would not be smoking in 12 months’ time, and 22% thought it was unlikely or very unlikely they would be smoking.

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