Tobacco smoking

Tobacco smoking is an important cause of preventable ill health and death in Australia. It is a leading risk factor for the development of many  chronic disease and premature death.

Health conditions often affected by tobacco smoking include many types of cancer, respiratory disease and heart disease.

About 1 in 6 (18%) people aged 15 and over with disability smoke daily (based on self-reported data) (Figure 1). They are more likely to do so than people without disability (12%).

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Males aged 15 and over with disability (22%) are more likely to smoke daily than their female counterparts (15%) (Figure 1). As this is consistent with patterns for the overall population, this likely reflects the sex of the person rather than their disability status.

Younger people (aged 15–64) with disability (25%) are more likely to smoke daily than their older counterparts (aged 65 and over) (8%) (Figure 1).


ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2019. Microdata: National Health Survey, 2017–18. Canberra: ABS. Findings based on AIHW analysis of the main unit record file (MURF).

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Figure 1

Stacked column chart showing whether people with and without disability currently smoke daily. The reader can select to display the chart by disability status, by age group, including 15-64 years, 65+ years and all ages, and by sex. The chart shows people with disability aged 15-64 are more likely (25%) to smoke daily than those without disability (13%). Back to figure 1