Smoking rates falling, but smokers still puffing away savings



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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have released Australian smoking rates this World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the theme of ‘Tobacco – a threat to development’.

Smoking rates have dropped nearly 10 percentage points over the last two decades.

 “Just over one in seven (14.5 per cent) adults were smokers in 2014-15 compared with nearly one in four (23.8 per cent) in 1995,” said Louise Gates, Director of Health at the ABS.

“In particular, rates of daily smoking have decreased considerably among younger adults (18-44 year olds). In 2014-15, 16.3 per cent of 18-44 year olds smoked daily compared with 28.2 per cent in 2001.

“This drop is due to people quitting and people not starting to smoke. In 2014-15, 60 per cent of younger adults (18-44 years) had never smoked and 23 per cent were ex-smokers,” Gates said.

ABS statistics also illuminate the highest rates of smoking across the country, with the Northern Territory continuing to have the highest smoking rate at one in five (21 per cent) in 2014-2015. However, this has decreased since 2001 where rates were as high as 30 per cent.

The rates of Australians in Outer Regional and Remote areas who smoke daily have also decreased over the past 10-15 years to 20.9 per cent. Although these rates are still almost 10 percentage points higher than that of Major Cities (13 per cent).

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Source: ABS Data

Burning down the house:

Forget giving up your smashed avo on toast, people who smoke are puffing away their savings.

RateCity research, released for World No Tobacco Day, shows the average pack-a-day smoker spends $9,125 a year on cigarettes.

Money Editor Sally Tindall said it was surprising how much a cigarette habit costs.

“If you swap smoking for saving, you could save a 10 per cent deposit on a unit in just nine years, without contributing an extra cent,” she said.

“For home buyers in Sydney, if you give up cigarettes today and save the money, it will take you 13 years to save a 10 per cent deposit, while those living in Melbourne could take just 8 years to save for a deposit.

“Smokers who want real value for money should consider buying your first home in Hobart.  Swap your smokes for savings and it will take just over four years to achieve your deposit.” She said.

ABS data also indicated that Tasmania had a high rate of daily smokers, at 18 per cent in 2014-2015.

“For those who already have an average sized mortgage, giving up smoking will also save you $135,000 in repayments and help you pay off your property 13 years sooner,” she said.

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