Uptake and quitting smoking trends in Australia 1974-1984.
Pierce JP., Aldrich RN., Hanratty S., Dwyer T., Hill D.
Five cross-sectional surveys of random, cluster samples of the Australian population taken between 1974 and 1984 obtained information on the prevalence of smokers and ex-smokers. This information, however, does not provide the essential data for trend studies of smoking behavior: Estimates of the prevalence of smoking uptake and of smoking cessation are also required. The uptake rate for males ages 16-19 reached a peak in 1980. For females ages 16-19, the uptake rate reached a peak in 1983; in 1984 there was a significant drop in the percentage of female ever-smokers, which coincidentally corresponded to the introduction of large-scale, mass-media anti-smoking campaigns in Australia. A quit ratio has been defined in this study as the ratio of the proportion of ex-smokers to the proportion of those available to quit, that is, ever-smokers. This ratio enables community smoking cessation activity trends to be plotted. Quit ratios were similar for both sexes and increased at approximately 1% per year for almost all age groups studied. Overall, the percentage increase between 1974 and 1984 was greater for females than for males.