Data from Smoker Status, Australia 2020–21 presented on this page have been tested for significance at the 5% level using confidence intervals of the differences between two proportions, and comprehensive tables are available in Smoking among Australia’s veterans 2020–21: supplementary data tables – Table S3. For more information on the methodology used, see Technical notes.
While comparisons can be inferred from the information provided on this page, some differences between persons who have and have not served in the ADF are likely to be confounded by the older age structure of the ADF population. For more information, see Differences in age structures among ADF service status populations.
The unique nature of ADF service can enhance a person’s health and wellbeing; a phenomenon known as the 'healthy soldier effect'. Military personnel are generally physically and mentally fit, receive regular medical assessments, and have access to comprehensive medical and dental treatment as a condition of service. However, ADF service increases the likelihood of exposure to trauma (either directly or indirectly) and affects support networks, for example, separation from family during deployment (Daraganova et al. 2018; Lawrence-Wood et al. 2019). For more information, see Who is a Veteran?.
On this page, data are only presented for males due to female population sizes being too small to report.
This page explores subpopulations of veterans that may be at higher risk of smoking based on geographical characteristics such as their state or territory of residence, level of socio-economic disadvantage, or remoteness area.
In 2020–21, rates of smoking among males who had ever served in the ADF did not appear to be associated with state or territory of residence, level of socio-economic disadvantage, or remoteness area. The exception to this was for those living in the most disadvantaged areas of Australia (quintile 1), who were over 3 times more likely to be current smokers than those living in the second-least disadvantaged areas of Australia (20% compared with 6.3% for quintile 4, respectively).
For males who had never served however, rates of smoking were associated with state or territory of residence, level of socio-economic disadvantage, or remoteness area, with those who lived in:
- the Northern Territory being at much higher risk of smoking than most other states and territories.
- the most disadvantaged areas of Australia (quintile 1) being over twice as likely to be current smokers than those living in the least disadvantaged areas of Australia (21% compared with 10% for quintile 4 and 8.8% for quintile 5, respectively).
- outer regional and remote areas being more likely to smoke than those living in both major cities and inner regional Australia.