More men addicted to cigarettes

Men are more likely to be daily smokers than women in Ballarat, a new survey has revealed.

Cancer Council Victoria data released this week found 13.9 per cent of men in Victoria light up every day compared to 10.1 per cent of women.

And 16.1 per cent of men aged 18 to 29 are daily smokers, compared to 23.2 per cent of young women.

But this is down from 2004-05, when 26.9 per cent of young men and 23.2 per cent of young women were daily smokers.

Overall in 2015, 11.9 per cent of Victorians smoked day-to-day.

This represented a substantial decline over the past decade, from 17.3 per cent of Victorian adults who were daily smokers in 2004-05.

The findings were from a telephone survey of about 4000 Victorians, which was designed to provide a representative sample of the state’s population.

Ballarat Community Health chief executive Robyn Reeves said the new Quit statistics showing an overall decrease in smoking rates was heartening.

“But tobacco remains the leading avoidable cause of cancer and a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, killing 4,000 Victorians each year,” she said. 

“These tragic and avoidable outcomes demonstrate that more needs to be done.”

It comes after a new Quit campaign targeting young men kicked off, which urges smokers to ditch cigarettes now rather put off quitting until they are older and starting to feel damage to their health.

Quit Victoria director Sarah White said targeting male smokers aged 18-34 was a new approach, since its campaigns usually aimed to reach male and female smokers across a broad age group.

The campaign is centred on a television advertisement that shows a young man who uses typical excuses to delay quitting – figuring he will quit smoking once footy training starts, or before he wakes up coughing or becomes a father.

The message is: “You know you’ll quit one day, so get tough with yourself – do it now”.