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WHO asks countries for age-wise ratings for films with tobacco imagery

The WHO has asked all countries, including India, to introduce age-classified ratings for films and other entertainment programmes with tobacco imagery to restrict the number of new adolescent smokers.

“Today, we want to emphasise that governments should require age-classification ratings for films with tobacco imagery to reduce the overall exposure of youth,” said Dr Armando Peruga, chief coordinator for WHO’s Tobacco Free Initiative, releasing the third edition of a report called ‘Smoke-free Movies’.

In 2013-14, adolescents in the US were exposed to 3.1 billion in-cinema tobacco use impressions, 46 per cent of which were from PG-13 films, Peruga said.

Praising the pioneering legislative initiatives made by India and China in protecting nonsmokers from smoking imagery in entertainment products, the WHO expert added that “much more needs to be done”.

“Taking advantage of the progress that they (Indian government) have made, I think, the next step for India is certainly to introduce a rating system for not only movies but also TV programmes and other entertainment products,” he
said.

Studies by the US National Cancer Institute and the US Surgeon General have concluded that smoking in films leads to 37 per cent new adolescent smokers.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014 estimated that exposure to on-screen smoking would lead to six million new young smokers of which an estimated two million would die of tobacco-induced illnesses.

“Smoking in Hollywood films comprises the main exposure of adolescents in western nations. The study in India deserves special consideration because films made in India constitute the primary exposure in the country,” the report said.

Though Bollywood produces many more movies annually, in 2014 it accounted for 30 per cent of all feature-length movies than Hollywood, the small fraction of the films produced in the US nevertheless accounts for half of the global investment in film production and distribution and has consistently earned 60 per cent of the global box office receipts, thus, signalling its wide global reach.

“Another measure that we recommend is certification in movie credits that films produced received nothing of value from anyone in exchange for playing tobacco products,” Dr Peruga said.

There is “big suspicion” when some movies, like the last James Bond film Spectre, display intensive smoking content, sometimes, showing brand names, and “we wonder why,” he said.

Hollywood films containing tobacco imagery continue to earn billions of dollars globally, including in countries like India and China, that have taken strong measures against tobacco advertising and promotion, the report said.

The UN health agency also urged governments to make media productions that promote smoking ineligible for films produced by national governments.

Between 2002 and 2014, almost 59 per cent of top-grossing films featured tobacco imagery.

The recommendations come when the Indian Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is set to undergo revamping by a new committee headed by veteran film director Shyam Benegal.

Chemical flavored E-cigarettes irridiates lungs

http://www.albanydailystar.com/health/chemical-flavored-e-cigarettes-irridiates-lungs-15936.html

E-cigarettes under heavyfire, users who smoke cherry-flavored vapors are inhaling a chemical called Benzaldehyde, which can irritate their airways. High levels of the respiratory irritant benzaldehyde were detected in the vapour from most of the flavoured nicotine products, with the highest concentrations in vapour from cherry-flavoured products.

Benzaldehyde is most dangerous chemical

However, the exposure limit to this chemical is of about 8 hours. Therefore, it would take you several years of vaping to reach this limit. Scientists believe e-cigarettes are still a lot healthier than traditional tobacco ones, which can expose you to more than 7,000 chemicals, 6 of which are known to be carcinogens.

The concentrations of the chemical Benzaldehyde were 43 times higher in cherry-flavoured products than in other flavours,

Basically, the research team tried to determine the amount of Benzaldehyde contained by flavored e-cigarettes, analyzing and comparing between 140 different flavors. This chemical compound has been proven to not have any adverse effects when applied on one’s skin or ingested, but that changes when inhaling, irritating the subject’s airways.

Benzaldehyde is commonly used in natural food flavorings.

Out of all the samples analyzed in the study, 101 of them were found to contain amounts of Benzaldehyde. What the study and some articles fail to mention is that even if these amounts are large, the required quantity of Benzaldehyde to actually cause serious problems to one’s airways is 1000 larger than the one found in e-cigs.

However, e-cigarette industry group Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association said in a statement that these findings prove e-cigarettes remain a better alternative to regular and traditional tobacco cigarettes. “Let’s not lose sight that vaping presents substantially less risk than combustion cigarettes, which expose smokers to over 7,000 chemicals including more than 60 known or suspected carcinogens,” the group’s statement said.

“This research shows that even with cherry e-cigs, it would take three years of vaping to reach the 8-hour work shift permissible occupational exposure limit,” they added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Norman Edelman, a senior scientific advisor for the American Lung Association, noted that Goniewicz and colleagues’ study puts forth the need for proper regulation of e-cigarettes.

“To me, it’s another piece of evidence that we don’t know what’s in those things,” Edelman explained, as per WebMD. “It’s terribly important that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration use its power to regulate them. The first thing they can do is find out what is in them,” he advised.

E-cigarettes still the safer alternative to smoking traditional tobacco products?

While it appears to be safe when ingested or applied on the skin, it has been shown to cause airway irritation in animals and humans, and may have different effects when heated and inhaled, as when used in vaping. Researchers measured benzaldehyde levels for 145 different flavoured nicotine products using an automatic smoking simulator and calculated daily exposure to users from 163 e-cigarette puffs.

Their analysis detected benzaldehyde in the vapour from 108 (74%) of the flavoured products studied, and found concentrations of the chemical that were 43 times higher in cherry-flavoured products than in other flavours.

It is rather interesting to see how studies and media have switched from blaming tobacco smoking for basically every disease out there, a trend noticeable a couple of months ago, to raising fears in regards to e-cigs. This comes as a surprise if one would take into account the proven fact that e-cigs are much more safe in comparison to tobacco smoking.

But one has to keep in mind that even if e-cigarettes are healthier than traditional methods of smoking, this does not mean that one should not, at least, try to quit completely. Most people who opt to make the switch to e-cigs are doing it because they wish to quit, even if several correlation studies have shown that often times, people usually keep smoking tobacco in-between smoking e-cigarettes.

Like with all studies of this kind, especially if you take into account the rather massive war against e-cigs currently happening in the US, every finding has to be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s still completely up to you if you want to switch to e-cigs or not.

Keeping in mind that e-cigarettes face criticisms once again, it will be interesting to see what other studies will show in regards to e-cigs’ effects on health. What will be even more intriguing will be what the media and research parties will elect as their new target in the near future, once e-cigarette smoking will suffer the same fate as normal tobacco smoking.

Films showing smoking scenes should be rated to protect children from tobacco addiction

WHO is calling on governments to rate movies that portray tobacco use in a bid to prevent children and adolescents from starting to smoke cigarettes and use other forms of tobacco.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/protect-children-from-tobacco/en/

Movies showing use of tobacco products have enticed millions of young people worldwide to start smoking, according to the new WHO “Smoke-free movies: from evidence to action”, the third edition since its launch in 2009.

“With ever tighter restrictions on tobacco advertising, film remains one of the last channels exposing millions of adolescents to smoking imagery without restrictions,” says Dr Douglas Bettcher, WHO’s Director for the Department of Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases.

Taking concrete steps, including rating films with tobacco scenes and displaying tobacco warnings before films with tobacco, can stop children around the world from being introduced to tobacco products and subsequent tobacco-related addiction, disability and death.

“Smoking in films can be a strong form of promotion for tobacco products,” adds Dr Bettcher. “The 180 Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) are obliged by international law to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.”

Movies hook millions of young people on tobacco

Studies in the United States of America have shown that on-screen smoking accounts for 37% of all new adolescent smokers. In 2014, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that in the United States alone, exposure to on-screen smoking would recruit more than 6 million new, young smokers from among American children in 2014, of which 2 million would ultimately die from tobacco-induced diseases.

“With ever tighter restrictions on tobacco advertising, film remains one of the last channels exposing millions of adolescents to smoking imagery without restrictions.”

Dr Douglas Bettcher, WHO’s Director for the Department of Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases

In 2014, smoking was found in 44% of all Hollywood films, and 36% of films rated for young people. Almost two thirds (59%) of top-grossing films featured tobacco imagery between 2002 and 2014. That same year, the US Surgeon General reported that adult ratings of future films with smoking would reduce smoking rates among young people in the USA by nearly one-fifth and avert 1 million tobacco-related deaths among today’s children and adolescents.

Many films produced outside of the United States also contain smoking scenes. Surveys have shown that tobacco imagery was found in top-grossing films produced in six European countries (Germany, Iceland, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), and two Latin American countries (Argentina and Mexico). Nine in 10 movies from Iceland and Argentina contain smoking, including films rated for young people, the report states.

The WHO Smoke-Free Movie report, in line with the guidelines of article 13 of the WHO FCTC, recommends policy measures including:

• requiring age classification ratings for films with tobacco imagery to reduce overall exposure of youth to tobacco imagery in films;
• certifying in movie credits that film producers receive nothing of value from anyone in exchange for using or displaying tobacco products in a film;
• ending display of tobacco brands in films; and
• requiring strong anti-smoking advertisements to be shown before films containing tobacco imagery in all distribution channels (cinemas, televisions, online, etc).

In addition, the report also recommends making media productions that promote smoking ineligible for public subsidies.

Dr Armando Peruga, programme manager of WHO’s Tobacco-Free Initiative, says countries around the world have taken steps to limit tobacco imagery in films. “China has ordered that ‘excessive’ smoking scenes should not be shown in films. India has implemented new rules on tobacco imagery and brand display in domestic and imported films and TV programmes. But more can and must be done,” Dr Peruga adds.

Tobacco key facts and figures

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/tobacco-kff

Key facts and figures on tobacco sales, consumption and prevalence

Each year, smoking kills an estimated 15,000 Australians1 and costs Australia $31.5 billion2 in social (including health) and economic costs.

Tobacco sales

Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that total consumption of tobacco and cigarettes in the March quarter 2014 is the lowest ever recorded, as measured by estimated expenditure on tobacco products:

$5.135 billion in September 1959;
$3.508 billion in December 2012; and
$3.405 billion in March 2014.3

Tobacco consumption

Treasury has advised that tobacco clearances (including excise and customs duty) fell by 3.4% in 2013 relative to 2012 and fell a further 7.9% in 2014. Tobacco clearances have fallen a total of 11.0% since 2012 when tobacco plain packaging was introduced.

These growth rates do not take into account refunds of excise equivalent customs duty made under Customs’ plain packaging related Tobacco Refund Scheme between December 2012 and May 2013. These refunds cannot be related to annual net clearances on a comparable basis to other data used to derive these growth rates.

The tobacco excise rate was indexed to average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE) from 1 March 2014 and there were two separate 12.5% increases in the tobacco excise rate (1 December 2013 and 1 September 2014).

Clearances are an indicator of tobacco volumes in the Australian market.

Smoking prevalence rates

In relation to smoking rates, the Australian Government relies on data from national surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013

On 17 July 2014, the AIHW released the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey: key findings, which outlines the topline data for tobacco, alcohol and licit and illicit drugs.

On 25 November 2014, AIHW’s National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 20134 was released showing that there has been a significant decrease in daily smokers aged 14 years or older in Australia, falling from 16.6% in 2007, 15.1% in 2010 to 12.8% in 2013.

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Other tobacco related findings from the NDSHS detailed report 2013 are:

Young people are delaying commencing smoking – the age at which 14 to 24 year olds smoked their first full cigarette increased from 15.4 years of age in 2010 to 15.9 years of age in 2013.

The proportion of 12-17 years olds who had never smoked in 2013 remained high at 95%.

The proportion of 18 to 24 year olds who have never smoked increased significantly between 2010 and 2013, from 72% to 77% respectively.

People aged 18 to 49 years of age were far less likely to smoke daily than they were 12 years ago.

The average number of cigarettes smoked per week has decreased from 111 cigarettes in 2010 to 96 cigarettes in 2013.

16.5% of smokers (14 years or older) reported using unbranded tobacco in their lifetime with 3.6% using unbranded tobacco (half the time or more) in 2013, declining from 4.9% in 2010.

Dependent children are far less likely to be exposed to tobacco smoke inside the home, (2013, 3.7% compared to 1995 at 31%).

These results do not reflect any impact from the Australian Government’s change to bi-annual indexation of tobacco excise or the first of four 12.5% excise increases on tobacco products which took effect on 1 December 2013.

Specific population groups

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged 14 years or older were two and a half times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to smoke daily in 2013: 32% (Indigenous compared to 12.4% (non-Indigenous).

The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians aged 14 years or older smoking daily declined from 35% in 2010 to 32% in 2013, and the number of cigarettes smoked per week declined significantly, from 154 in 2010 to 115 in 2013.

Remoteness

People aged 14 years or older, living in remote and very remote areas, were twice as likely to have smoked daily in the previous 12 months as those in major cities: 22% compared with 11.0%.

The proportion of people aged 14 years or older smoking daily rose with increasing remoteness: 11.0% in major cities; 15.4% in inner regional; 19.4% in outer regional; and 22% in remote and very remote areas.

Socioeconomic and employment status

People (14 years or older) living in areas with the lowest socioeconomic status (SES) were 3 times more likely to smoke daily than people with the highest SES, 19.9% compared with 6.7%, but there were significant declines in daily smoking in both these groups between 2010 and 2013.

The declines in daily smoking seen nationally were also seen among employed people but there were no significant changes in the smoking behaviour of unemployed people who were unable to work between 2010 and 2013.

People aged 14 years or older, who were unemployed were 1.7 times more likely to smoke daily and those who were unable to work were 2.4 times more likely to smoke daily.

Compared to 2010, employed people aged 14 years or older were less likely to smoke daily in 2013, down from 16.1% to 13.5% respectively.

Table 3: Comparison of 2010 and 2013 State and Territory tobacco smoking status, people aged 14 years or older, by sex and jurisdiction (age-standardised)7

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Figure 1: Smoking prevalence rates for 14 years or older and key tobacco control measures implemented in Australia since 19905

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Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12

The ABS Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12 were released on 30 July 2013 and reported that in 2011-12, 16.3% of Australians aged 18 years and older smoked daily (age standardised).

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations9

The ABS Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Updated Results, 2012-13 (AATSIHS) were released in June 2014. The final results of the survey were based on the full Indigenous sample of around 12,900.

The Report shows that 42% of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over smoked daily.

Between 2002 and 2012-13, current daily smoking rates for Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over declined significantly by 7 percentage points.

Males had higher daily smoking rates than females:

15 years and over, the rates were 42.9% and 38.7%, and
18 years and over, the rates were 44.2% and 40.2%, respectively 10

The combined middle age group, 25 to 34 year olds, had the highest daily smoking rate, 51.5%.

In 2012-13, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over who were daily smokers was higher in remote areas than in non-remote areas, 50% compared with 39%. This pattern is evident for all age groups.

There have been significant decreases in the daily smoking rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over, in non-remote areas, between 2002 and
2012-13, 48% to 39% respectively.

This has not been mirrored in remote areas. The daily smoking rate of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over remained stagnant at 50% between 2002 and 2011-13.

Consistent with the decreases in current daily smoking rates between 2002 and 2012-13, the proportion of ex-smokers, aged 15 years and over, increased from 15% to 20%.

The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, aged 15 years and over, who said they had never smoked increased from 33% to 36%.

For young people aged 15-17 years, the proportion who had never smoked increased from 61% in 2002 to 77% in 2012-13.

For those aged 18-24 years, the proportion who had never smoked increased from 34% to 42% over the same period.

Tobacco control in Australia

Australia’s low smoking rate is the result of sustained, concerted and comprehensive public policy efforts from all levels of government and action from public health organisations.

1973 – health warnings first mandated on all cigarette packs in Australia;
1976 – bans on all cigarette advertising on radio and television in Australia;
1986 to 2006 – phased in bans on smoking in workplaces and public places;
1990 – bans on advertising of tobacco products in newspapers and magazines published in Australia;
1992 – increase in the tobacco excise;
1993 – Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 prohibited broadcasting and publication of tobacco advertisements;
from 1994 to 2003 – bans on smoking in restaurants;
1995 – nationally consistent text-only health warnings required;
1998 to 2006 – bans on point-of-sale tobacco advertising across Australia;
2006 – graphic health warnings required on packaging of most tobacco products;
2010 – 25% increase in the tobacco excise;
2011 – first complete State or Territory ban on point-of-sale tobacco product displays
2012 – introduction of tobacco plain packaging, and updated and expanded graphic health warnings;
2013 – changes to the bi-annual indexation of tobacco excise and a further 12.5% excise increase on 1 December;
2014 – second of four 12.5% excise increases on 1 September 2013; and
2015 and 2016 – remaining 12.5% excise increases on 1 September each year.

Tobacco plain packaging

The objectives of the tobacco plain packaging measure, as summarised in the Explanatory Memorandum for the legislation, are to:

reduce the attractiveness and appeal of tobacco products to consumers, particularly young people;
increase the noticeability and effectiveness of mandated health warnings;
reduce the ability of the retail packaging of tobacco products to mislead consumers about the harms of smoking; and
through the achievement of these aims in the long term, as part of a comprehensive range of tobacco control measures, contribute to efforts to reduce smoking rates.

Tobacco plain packaging operates as part of a comprehensive set of tobacco control measures. It is an investment in the long term health of Australians and its full effects will be seen over the long term.

Questions and Answers

Question: Have tobacco sales increased since the introduction of tobacco plain packaging on 1 December 2012?

Answer:
Tobacco sales data are not publicly available.

Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that total consumption of tobacco and cigarettes in the March quarter 2014 is the lowest ever recorded, as measured by estimated expenditure on tobacco products i.e. $5.135 billion in September 1959, $3.508 billion in December 2012 and $3.405 billion in March 2014. See Table 8 at 5206.0 – Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, Mar 2014

Treasury has advised that tobacco clearances (including excise and customs duty) fell by 3.4% in 2013 relative to 2012 and fell a further 7.9% in 2014. Tobacco clearances have fallen a total of 11.0% since 2012 when tobacco plain packaging was introduced.

These growth rates do not take into account refunds of excise equivalent customs duty made under Customs’ plain packaging related Tobacco Refund Scheme between December 2012 and May 2013. These refunds cannot be related to annual net clearances on a comparable basis to other data used to derive these growth rates.

The tobacco excise rate was indexed to average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE) from 1 March 2014 and there were two separate 12.5% increases in the tobacco excise rate (1 December 2013 and 1 September 2014).

Clearances are an indicator of tobacco volumes in the Australian market.

In April 2013, the CEO of a major tobacco company noted a decline in tobacco product sales:

“As I’m looking at Asia Pacific, I should also mention Australia, we’ve had the first six months of the plain pack environment in Australia. We’ve seen the market decline roughly 2% to 3%, so maybe not as bad as we might have anticipated.” Transcript of Imperial Tobacco half-year 2013 results – Interview with Alison Cooper, CEO, and Bob Dyrbus, FD

Question: Are Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws having an impact on smoking rates in Australia?

Answer:

Over the past 40 years, Australian Governments have implemented an increasingly progressive range of tobacco control measures including advertising and promotion restrictions, education campaigns, bans on smoking in enclosed and public spaces, excise increases, quitlines, graphic health warnings and tobacco plain packaging, which together have worked to cut smoking rates in half.

In relation to smoking rates, the Australian Government relies on data from national surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The results of the Australian Health Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, show that the national adult (18 years and over) daily smoking rate has continued to fall, from 22.3% in 2001 to 16.3% in 2011-12. This is the most recent national data available on smoking prevalence. 4364.0.55.001 – Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12 – Tobacco smoking

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s, National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013 released on 25 November 2014, shows smoking rates have significantly fallen for people aged 14 years or older from 15.1% in 2010 to 12.8% in 2013 and for people aged 18 years or older from 15.9% in 2010 to 13.3% in 2013. The report and online tables are available from the AIHW website.

Question: What is the evidence for the introduction of tobacco plain packaging?

Answer:
Tobacco plain packaging is based on a broad range of studies and reports, and supported by leading Australian and international public health experts.

Extensive research evidence to June 2009 in support of tobacco plain packaging is set out in the reports of the National Preventative Health Taskforce, a group of Australia’s leading public health experts. The report of the Taskforce is available on the Preventative Health Taskforce website.

The research shows that industry branding and packaging design can mislead about the harmful effects of the product, reduce the effectiveness of graphic health warnings on tobacco products, and increase the appeal of tobacco to young people.

Since 2009 the evidence base has continued to grow. Some additional studies were referenced in the government’s consultation paper on the plain packaging legislation released in April 2011. A review of the evidence prepared by the Cancer Council Victoria – which cited 24 studies in the peer-reviewed literature – was tabled in the House of Representatives on 25 May 2011. The Cancer Council Victoria evidence review was updated in August 2011. Evidence – Plain packaging of cigarettes: a review of the evidence

Question: Have any early impacts of tobacco plain packaging been identified?

Answer:
Research undertaken during the roll-out phase of the tobacco plain packaging legislation, when both plain and branded packs were available found that plain packaged cigarettes with larger health warnings increased smokers’ urgency to quit and lowered the appeal of smoking. Introduction effects of the Australian plain packaging policy on adult smokers: a cross-sectional study

A recent observational study of the prevalence of cigarette pack display and smoking in outdoor venues before and after the introduction of tobacco plain packaging and larger graphic health warnings, indicate a decline in apparent active smoking rates and personal pack display (packs clearly visible on tables) among patrons.
Personal tobacco pack display before and after the introduction of plain packaging with larger pictorial health warnings in Australia: an observational study of outdoor café strips

Research has also found a significant increase in the number of calls to the smoking cessation helpline, Quitline, in NSW and the ACT. The research showed a 78% increase in the number of calls to the Quitline associated with the introduction of plain packaging. This peak occurred four weeks after the initial appearance of plain packaging. This research also found the increase in calls was sustained and was not attributable to anti-tobacco advertising activity, cigarette price increases, nor other identifiable causes.
Association between tobacco plain packaging and Quitline calls: a population-based, interrupted time-series analysis

The effect of tobacco plain packaging, as part of Australia’s comprehensive package of tobacco control measures, will be seen over the longer term.

In particular, by reducing the appeal of tobacco products and preventing consumers being misled about the harms of tobacco products, it is anticipated that tobacco plain packaging will have an impact on uptake of smoking by youth, and will encourage existing smokers to quit and stay quit.

Question: Figures quoted in the press suggest that smoking rates have increased in New South Wales and South Australia.

Answer:
New South Wales

A major Australian daily newspaper reported that ‘Last year’s NSW population health survey, released last month, showed 16.4 per cent of all adults in the state smoke, up from 14.7 per cent in 2011′.

While these figures are accurate, they are incomplete in that they do not report the 2012 smoking rate of 17.1% i.e. the 2013 smoking rate of 16.4% was less than the 2012 smoking rate of 17.1%.

The increase in smoking rates between 2011 (14.7%) and 2012 (17.1%) is likely to have been due to a change in the methodology of the survey, in which mobile phones were included in the survey methods for the first time. This would have captured more young people, especially young men, who typically have higher current smoking rates.

Current smoking in adults by sex, NSW 2002 to 2013
Snapshot May 2014 – Tobacco Strategy 2012-2017

From 2002 to 2011, when the methodology changed, the long-term trend in smoking in NSW had been downwards.

As outlined in Table 3, smoking rates in NSW have fallen from 14.2% in 2007 to 11.8% in 2013.

South Australia

A major Australian daily newspaper reported that ‘ in South Australia (smoking) rates were up from 16.7 per cent to 19.4 per cent over the past year’.

These statistics, which were released by the South Australian Minister for Health, are to be understood in the context that the state government ceased all expenditure on social marketing in June 2013 after a period of strong investment.

Media release – Alfresco dining areas out of puff

There is a solid research evidence base about quality social marketing as part of a comprehensive approach to tobacco control. In recognition of this fact, and following the release of the latest smoking data, the South Australian Health Minister, Jack Snelling MP, stated in May 2014 that the State Government will re-instate $1.1 million a year in anti-tobacco mass media campaigns.

Question: Will funding continue for anti-smoking social marketing activity in 2013-14?

Answer:
The Department of Health is well placed to undertake social marketing activities and is responsible for delivering the National Tobacco Campaign – More Targeted Approach, which targets hard to reach audiences and high prevalence smoking groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

On 31 May 2014, World No Tobacco Day, the Government announced an injection of $4.6 million to the More Targeted Approach Campaign in 2013-14.

As outlines in Table 3, smoking rates in South Australia have fallen 15.0% in 2007 to 13.0% in 2013.

Question: Will funding for Quitline services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue?

Answer:
All Quitline services targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue – there have been no cuts.

1. Begg S., Vos T., Barker B., Stevenson C., Stanley L., and Lopez AD., (2007) The Burden of Disease and Injury in Australia 2003, PHE 82 Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, p76.
2. Collins D., and Lapsley H., (2008) The Cost of Tobacco, Alcohol and Illicit Drug Abuse to Australian Society in 2004/05, Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Health and Ageing, Monograph Series No.64, p65.
3. ABS website – 5206.0 – Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, Mar 2014
4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013. Drug statistics series no. 28. Cat. No. PHE 183. Canberra: AIHW. Available from the AIHW website
5. National Drug Strategy Household Survey 1991, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.
6. Figures for 1991, 1993, and 1995 are from AIHW unpublished data. 1998 to 2010 data is from the 2010 NDSHS report, Supplementary table, released on the AIHW website, 5 November 2010. 2013 data available at the AIHW website
7. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2014). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report. Online Table A7.1, Tobacco smoking status, people aged 14 years or older, by sex and state/territory, 2013 (age-standardised per cent)
8. For 2001, 2004-05 and 2007-08 – ABS, 4125.0 – Gender Indicators, Australia, July 2012.
8. ABS Australian Health Survey: Updated Results, 2011-12 (AHS), released 30 July 2013, Table 13.3, Selected health characteristics with age standardised proportions – 2001 to 2011-12.
9. ABS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Updated Results, 2012-13 – Australia, released 6 June 2014. Table 10.3 Smoker status by age.
10. Data age standardised to the 2001 Australian Estimated Resident Population.

 

Unravelling gossamer with boxing gloves: problems in explaining the decline in smoking

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