2.9 Best estimate of recent tobacco consumption in Australia

So, how much tobacco really is currently being consumed in Australia?

2.9.1 Total per capita tobacco consumption among adults

Accurate estimates of total consumption in Australia would take account of both the number of tobacco products levied for excise and customs duty and estimated sales of contraband cigarettes and illicit tobacco. Estimates of total tobacco consumption taking into account both official tax receipts and best available estimates of counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes and chop-chop in Australia–from the analysis described in Section 2.8– are presented in Table 2.9.1.

Table 2.9.1
Total estimated consumption of tobacco products in Australia including two different estimates of contraband cigarettes --- cigarettes, cigars and smoking tobacco, Australia 1998–1999 to 2010–11

 


Cigarettes including Euromonitor estimate of contraband cigarettes (millions of pieces)

Cigars (millions of pieces)

Smoking tobacco including estimate of chop chop use based on figures from National Drug Strategy Household Surveys (tonnes)

Totall all tobacco products --Cigarettes, cigars and smoking tobacco (inluding Euromonitor estimates of contraband) - millions of cigarettes or cigarette equivalents

Cigarette equivalents per capita including Euromonitor estimates of contraband -- millions of pieces of cigarettes or cigarette equivalents

Totall all tobacco products --Cigarettes, cigars and smoking tobacco (inluding estimates of contraband as per Chapter 13) - millions of cigarettes or cigarette equivalents

Cigarette equivalents per capita including Chapter estimates of contraband -- millions of pieces of cigarettes or cigarette equivalents

1998–99

30 480

55

1 689

32 224

2 152

31 534

2106

1999–00

29 674

65

1 731

31 470

2 072

30 765

2026

2000–01

27 030

67

1 509

28 607

1 854

27 877

1807

2001–02

24 700

72

1 677

26 449

1 689

25 689

1641

2002–03

24 242

72

1 733

26 046

1 639

25 236

1588

2003–04

25 386

76

1 971

27 433

1 702

26 568

1648

2004–05

25 113

74

1 940

27 127

1 657

26 200

1600

2005–06

24 673

82

1 926

26 681

1 603

25 693

1543

2006–07

23 951

71

1 934

25 957

1 528

25 316

1490

2007–08

23 565

71

1 960

25 596

1 474

24 982

1438

2008–09

24 043

56

2 052

26 151

1 472

25 528

1437

2009–10

23 511

53

2 002

25 567

1 414

24 910

1378

2010–11

22 628

56

2 040

24 725

1 347

24 032

1309

Sources: AIHW 2011,1 Euromonitor International 20052 and 2012,3 Auditor-General 2006,4 Quit Victoria 20115 and ABS 20106

Note: Customs and excise data1 plus Global Market Information Database estimates of illicit tobacco products 2,3; Australian Tax Office estimates of illicit tobacco up to 20064 then estimates based on self-report data from 2007 and 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Surveys5; ABS resident population estimates6; alternative estimate

* Assuming that each cigar and roll-your-own cigarette weighs an average of 1 g.

It seems that the total number of tobacco products consumed in Australia fell sharply over the first few years of the 2000s. This corresponded with increased quitting activity around the start of the new millennium, the extension of smokefree policies in public places in most states and territories, and the reform of tobacco taxes between November 1999 and February 2001. The change to a per stick system of levying duty together with the imposition of the goods and services tax (GST) triggered very large increases in the price of large cigarette packs and moderate rises in the price of smaller pack sizes–see Chapter 13 for further details. Falling cigarette sales appear to have been only marginally offset by increased use of smoking tobacco and cigars. Even taking into account a possible increase in use of contraband cigarettes and chop-chop, in the three-year period between 1998–99 and 2001–02, total sales fell by about 18%. Total per capita sales fell by about 20% or more than 7% per annum. Since that time the annual rate of decline has fallen to less than 2.5%.

2.9.2 Tobacco consumption among Australian students

While tobacco consumption among the population as a whole has recently reduced by more than 25%–from just under 2000 to just under 1400 cigarettes per smoker 15 years and over per day over the 10 years since 1999–2000–the reduction among Australian secondary school students appears to have been even more dramatic.

As outlined in Section 2.3.5, over the six years from 2002, the number of cigarettes smoked by weekly smokers aged 16 and 17 years declined by about 30%. As outlined in Chapter 1, Section 1.6 the percentage of secondary school students reporting smoking at least once weekly also declined dramatically between 1999 and 2011, both among the older and the younger age groups.

Table 2.9.2 sets out per capita reported consumption of cigarettes by secondary school students in Australia between 1984 and 2008. Per capitaconsumption is calculated by taking the total number of students enrolled in secondary schools in each year in which surveys of smoking were conducted, and dividing this figure by an estimate of the total number of cigarettes smoked in that year by all students. The total number of cigarettes smoked in each year is calculated from self-reported numbers of cigarettes smoked by those who indicated that they had smoked at least once in the last week. The resulting figures for each year (the average number of cigarettes smoked per year, per student) could be thought of as an index of overall youth smoking that combines consideration of both smoking prevalence and reported consumption.

Table 2.9.2
Number of cigarettes smoked per Australian secondary school student per year (based on reported smoking by students who smoke at least weekly):
1984 to 2011

 


Number of secondary school students in Australia

Total numbers of Australian secondary school students who report smoking in the last week, aged 12–17 years

Average reported cigarette consumption among secondary school students who smoke at least weekly

Reported total number of cigarettes smoked each week by secondary school students who smoke at least weekly

Estimated number of cigarettes smoked each year per Australian secondary school student

1984

1 225 371

278 227

27

7 142 072

303

1987

1 263 582

221 871

28

5 983 320

246

1990

1 229 973

235 831

28

6 411 582

271

1993

1 228 343

261 981

26

6 679 791

283

1996

1 250 695

276 740

26

7 059 647

294

1999

1 296 884

268 919

25

6 636 501

266

2002

1 322 437

205 517

26

5 380 957

212

2005

1 367 668

140 359

23

3 211 698

122

2008

1 406 765

111 857

22

2 425 531

90

2011

1 534 073

102 011

20

2 069 893

70

Sources: L Stinson personal communication7 using data published in ABS 1993,8 1996,9 1999,10 2002,11 and 200512; V White, personal communication, using data from Hill, Wilcox, Gardner and Houston 1987;13 Hill, White, Pain and Gardner 1990;14 Hill, White, Williams and Gardner 1993;15 Hill, White and Segan 1995;16 Hill, White and Letcher 1999;17 Hill, White and Effendi 2002;18 and White and Hayman 200419 and 200620

As can be seen from Table 2.9.2 and Figure 2.9.1, per capita cigarette consumption across the whole population of secondary school students has declined dramatically. Secondary school students in Australia in 2011 on average were smoking about 75% fewer cigarettes than they were in 1996.

 

Figure 2.9.1

Figure 2.9.1
Total estimated per capita (adults 15 plus) consumption of tobacco products (licit and illicit combined for cigarettes, cigars and smoking tobacco) in Australia: 1998–99 to 2009–10

Sources: AIHW 2011,1 Euromonitor International 20052 and 2010,3 Auditor-General 2006,4 Quit Victoria 20115 and ABS 20106

Note: Customs and excise data1 plus Global Market Information Database estimates of illicit tobacco products 2,3; Australian Tax Office estimates of illicit tobacco up to 20064 then estimates based on self-report data from 2007 and 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Surveys5; ABS resident population estimates6

 

Figure 2.9.2

Figure 2.9.2
Per capita annual cigarette consumption as reported by Australian secondary school students aged 12–15 years and 16 & 17 years, 1996 to 2011 (number of cigarettes per annum)

Sources: L Stinson personal communication7 using data published in ABS 1993,8 1996,9 1999,10 2002,11 200512 and 200821; V White, personal communication, using data from Hill, White and Letcher 1999;17 Hill, White and Effendi 2002;18 White and Hayman 200419 and 200620 and White and Smith 200922

References

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2. Euromonitor International. Tobacco in Australia, Global Market Information Database. London: Euromonitor International, 2006. [viewed 14 December 2006] ; Available from: http://www.euromonitor.com

3. Euromonitor International. Tobacco in Australia, Global Market Information Database, 2010. London: Euromonitor International, 2011. Updated September 2010 [viewed 9 December 2011] ; Available from: http://www.euromonitor.com

4. The Auditor-General. Administration of Petroleum and Tobacco Excise Collections: A Follow-up Audit, 33 2005-06 Performance Audit. Canberra: Australian National Audit Office, 2006. Available from: http://www.anao.gov.au/director/publications/auditreports/2005-2006.cfm?item_id=1EB393419FB39C1B5F3F8574CAD4AB76

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7. Leo Stinson Schools Collection Manager, ABS Melbourne. Estimates of numbers of secondary school students aged 12 to 17 years (personal communication). Vicki White Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer TCCV, 2006.

8. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4221.0 Schools Australia, 1993. Canberra: ABS, 1994. Available from: http://144.53.252.30/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4221.01993?OpenDocument

9. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4221.0 Schools Australia 1996. Canberra: ABS, 1997. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/second+level+view?ReadForm&prodno=4221.0&viewtitle=Schools,%20Australia~2006~Latest~26/02/2007&&tabname=Past%20Future%20Issues&prodno=4221.0&issue=2006&num=&view=&

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12. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4221.0 Schools Australia 2005. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/second+level+view?ReadForm&prodno=4221.0&viewtitle=Schools,%20Australia~2006~Latest~26/02/2007&&tabname=Past%20Future%20Issues&prodno=4221.0&issue=2006&num=&view=&

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14. Hill D, White V, Pain M and Gardner G. Tobacco and alcohol use among Australian secondary school students in 1987. Medical Journal of Australia 1990;152:124-30. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2300011

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10388168

18. Hill D, White V and Effendi Y. Changes in the use of tobacco among Australian secondary students: results of the 1999 prevalence study and comparisons with earlier years. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2002;26(2):156-63. Available from: http://www.phaa.net.au/anzjph/journalpdf_2002/april_2002/p.%20156-63.pdf

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