High school smoker numbers significantly decline

QUEENSLAND high school students are resisting the urge to take up smoking according to new data.

Smoking rates of secondary school students have dropped significantly in the past 12 years.

The Australian Secondary Students' Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) survey shows Queensland students who had smoked a cigarette in the previous 12 months more than halved from 32 per cent in 2002 to 15 per cent in 2014.

The proportion of Queensland students surveyed who indicated they had smoked during the previous week fell from 14 per cent in 2002 to just six per cent in 2014.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said the trend among young Queenslanders was extremely encouraging.

"The Queensland Government's commitment to tobacco control over the last decade has helped young people quit smoking, preventing our next generation from taking up this lethal habit," Ms Clift said.

"There are a range of tobacco control measures that have contributed to the decline in smoking rates among secondary school students in Queensland.

"Smoke-free spaces, quit campaigns, plain packaging, and price increases have all played a part in reducing smoking rates across the state."

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said new tobacco laws proposed by State Government would further shift the culture of smoking among young people.

"Banning smoking at or near children's organised sporting events, skate parks and other places where young people or families congregate will not only reduce their exposure to second-hand smoke, but also restrict their exposure to smoking as a behaviour," he said.

Smokers are urged to call the Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) for help with quitting.



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