Australians are smoking less, but drug use is up and binge drinking remains steady, an annual survey has found.
The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey collects data from the same 17,000 people each year and follows them over the course of their lifetimes.
It started in 2001 and is the only such survey in Australia.
It found that since the survey began, smoking rates have dropped from 25% to 16% for males, and 20% to 12% of females.
It says that this is a “substantial” drop and likely reflects the effects of tobacco control measures, as well as increased public awareness of the harmful effects of smoking.
However, vaping is on the rise, particularly among young people, with 14.1% using vapes and 16% of those using daily.
Binge drinking levels have remained steady, and is most common among men aged 20-29. However, people aged 60 or over drink more often, on five or more days a week.
Binge drinking is considered as consuming five standard drinks or more, and is relatively common in Australia and about 20% of males and 10% of females who consume alcohol will binge drink.
Although these rates rose from 2003 to 2009, there has been a slight decline in male drinking. Female rates have remained the same.
As for drugs, use has actually risen, particularly for those aged 30 to 34. The most common drug of choice is marijuana, with cocaine and ecstasy also proving popular.
Hopefully, the results from the survey can help inform policy decisions in areas around health, education and social services. Although smoking rates have dropped, it looks like drinking and drugs are still a crowd favourite. Yikes.