AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Data integration Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources
Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Australian prisoners are far more likely to smoke than the general population and find it difficult to quit in prison, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Smoking and quitting smoking among prisoners 2012, shows that 84% of prison entrants were current smokers in 2012-5 times the rate of the general population.
'The decline in smoking rates among the general population seen in the last 20 years has not been mirrored among prisoner populations,' said AIHW spokesperson Tim Beard.
'Among prisoners we also see a concentration of characteristics that are more common among people who are likely to smoke. For example, over a quarter identify as Indigenous Australians. They also tend to come from areas of low socio economic status; have relatively high unemployment rates; and report relatively low levels of education compared to the general population.'
The report shows that 5% of prison dischargees (that is, prisoners who were preparing to be discharged within the four week period following the data collection) who were non-smokers on entry to prison started smoking while in prison.
A further 42% of prison dischargees who were current smokers reported smoking more when leaving prison than when they entered.
Mr Beard said 46% of prison entrants who were current smokers said they would like to quit.
'But it's plainly not easy, with just 1 in 12 prison dischargees being successful in quitting smoking, while a further 27% tried to quit but were unsuccessful.'
When asked what assistance, if any, prisoners would like to help them quit, 35% said none, 30% said nicotine replacement therapy and 21% said programs to help quit smoking.
All jurisdictions in Australia have at least some restrictions on smoking in prisons, and in July 2013 a complete ban on smoking for prisoners, staff and visitors was introduced into prisons in the Northern Territory.
'Smoking among prisoners is associated with other risky behaviours,' Mr Beard said.
'For instance, 75% of prisoners who smoked had used illicit drugs in the 12 months before they entered prison, compared with only 29% for prisoners who had never smoked.
'And 51% of ex-smokers and 48% of current smokers were at risk of alcohol-related harm before entering prison, compared with 27% for those who had never smoked.'
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 22 October 2013
Further information: Tim Beard, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1270, mob. 0418 271 395
Full publication: Smoking and quitting smoking among prisoners 2012