Smoking prevalence and consumption in Victoria: Key findings from the 2000-2002 population surveys

Letcher T, Bobevski I, Black C, Lipscomb J, Durkin S.

CBRC Research Paper Series No. 5, March 2004.

Smoking prevalence and cigarette consumption were calculated from a population survey conducted by telephone among Victorian adults in November 2002 and compared with data from similar surveys conducted in 2000 and 2001. In 2002, 19.2% of respondents indicated they smoked regularly, compared with 20.4% in 2001 and 19.6% in 2000. There was no significant change in smoking prevalence between the years 2000, 2001 and 2002.

In 2002, smoking prevalence was significantly higher among males than among females. Those aged under 50 years had significantly higher smoking rates than older people. Smoking prevalence was significantly lower among those with tertiary education compared with those who had reached Year 12 or completed a trade qualification and those who had completed Year 11 or less. Those employed in white-collar occupations had lower smoking rates than those in blue-collar occupations.

In 2002, daily smokers reported smoking a mean number of 17.3 cigarettes per day, while daily and weekly smokers combined reported smoking 16.5 cigarettes per day. Cigarette consumption did not change significantly over the period 2000-2002. Heavy smokers comprised around one-fifth of daily smokers, medium smokers around one-third, and light smokers made up 42%-47% of daily smokers. There was no change in these proportions between 2000, 2001 and 2002.

The data indicate little change in smoking prevalence for Victorian adults between 2000 and 2002, following a downward trend in smoking observed in the early 1990s in Victoria.