National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018: Draft for consultation
4.1 Achievements under the National Tobacco Strategy 2004-09
The National Tobacco Strategy 2004-09 delivered a range of achievements. Under this draft Strategy, the prevalence of daily smoking fell dramatically among all age and socioeconomic groups. The number of people who smoked daily decreased by approximately 100,000 people (2.9 million in 2007 down to 2.8 million in 2010).1
Smoking by teenagers fell to unprecedented levels. In 2008 teenage smoking reached the lowest level in 25 years and in 2008 the majority of secondary school students (70 per cent) had never smoked a cigarette.20
Also in 2008, the first signs of progress in reducing smoking prevalence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people became evident. Smoking prevalence among Indigenous people aged 15 years and over declined for the first time in almost 15 years falling from 49 per cent in 2002 to 45 per cent in 2008.3 Almost two thirds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers tried to quit or reduce their smoking in the previous 12 months.3
States and Territories progressively implemented smoke free legislation covering many indoor and outdoor public places thus protecting the health of children, the general public and employees.
Fewer children were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke in their homes. Around 8 per cent of households with dependent children had at least one person who smoked inside the home in 2007 - down from 12.3 per cent in 2004.27 Several States and Territories also passed legislation to require cars to be smoke free when children are in the car.
Mass media campaigns and health warnings on cigarette packets continued to remind smokers of the health risks associated with smoking, encourage and motivate them to quit and prevent relapse behaviour. Mass media campaigns also help shape broader social norms about smoking and help reinforce policy and legislative changes. In 2010, almost 40 per cent of smokers had reduced the amount they smoked in a day and almost 20 per cent of smokers had successfully given up smoking for more than a month. A further 29 per cent of smokers made a quit attempt which was not successful.1
There was substantial progress by State and Territory governments in prohibiting advertising and display of packaging at point of sale and enforcement of restrictions on the sale of tobacco to minors. In 2005-2006, “light” and “mild” descriptors were removed under an enforceable undertaking with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide yield information was also removed from packs.9, 28 The Australian Government introduced graphic health warnings on cigarette packets for the first time in 2006.