Tobacco Control in Tasmania

Tobacco Control header

Tobacco Control in Tasmania

Tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of premature death and disease in Australia.

The average number of Tasmanians who died each year from tobacco use increased from 502 per year between 2008 and 2012, to 559 per year between 2013 and 2017.

However, when taking age into account, particularly the greater proportion of older people in Tasmania, the number of deaths per year for every 100 000 Tasmanians due to tobacco use has reduced slightly over time.

Year period

Average annual number of deaths

Average annual rate per 100,000 population

2013-17

559

77

2008-12

502

79

2003-07

471

83

Note: Rates are age-standardised to the Australian 2011 population

Tobacco policy in Tasmania is guided by the Tasmanian Tobacco Control Plan 2017-2021 (accessible).

It provides clear direction to further reduce tobacco use and its harms through actions that all sectors and levels of government can take over the next four years.

The goal of the Plan is to improve the health, social and economic wellbeing of all Tasmanians by reducing the prevalence of tobacco use and smoking, and the inequalities it causes.

The Plan has four key areas for action:

  1. Encourage and help all people who smoke to quit for good.
  2. Prevent smoking uptake and de-normalise tobacco use.
  3. Reduce smoking by high prevalence groups.
  4. Strengthen and integrate the evidence base.

The Plan also establishes working groups to progress specific actions being:

  1. Smoke Free Young People

    The aim of this group is to prevent smoking uptake, help those who have already started smoking to quit and to create and support smoke free environments. It has developed the Smoke Free Generation – Be a Part of It! branding to shift attitudes, intentions and behaviours about smoking by young Tasmanians and a website that details options young Tasmanians can access to quit smoking www.smokefree.den.org.au

  2. Smoke Free Priority Populations

    The aim of this group is to develop actions to increase smoking cessation for population groups who smoke most in Tasmania being pregnant women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, young people, middle aged males, people experiencing mental ill-health and people from low socio economic areas. It has developed 'No One Left Behind: An action plan to achieve a smoke free Tasmania 2018-2021'. (An accessible version of 'No One Left Behind' is also available).

  3. Tobacco Control Evaluation
    The aim of this group is to establish a framework to ensure progress to reduce tobacco use in Tasmania can be measured over the four years of the Tasmanian Tobacco Control Plan. Progress reports will be published by the end of 2019 and 2021.

Snapshot of Tobacco Use in Tasmania

The National Health Survey 2017-18 reported 17.6 per cent of adult Tasmanians were estimated to be either daily or occasional smokers compared to 15 per cent nationally.

This equates to 70 500 Tasmanian adults and is a decline from 18.9 per cent in the previous survey conducted in 2014-15.

The 2017-18 survey also reported:

  • more adult males were current smokers at 19.3 per cent compared to females at 15.7 percent
  • the highest smoking by age group to be by 18 to 24 year olds at 22.6 per cent
  • 33.6 per cent of adults to be ex-smokers
  • 48.9 per cent of adults to have never smoked.

History of Tobacco Laws

Tobacco control laws in Tasmania are regulated by the Public Health Act 1997 and have evolved over time.

Tasmanian History of Tobacco Laws

Communication with tobacco companies

Tobacco companies did not contribute to the development or implementation of the Tasmanian Tobacco Control Plan 2017-2021.

We recognise the importance of protecting the development of public health policy and tobacco legislation from the interests of tobacco companies.

As such it is our practice to only communicate with tobacco companies in their capacity as a tobacco licence holder or with respect to existing tobacco legislation.