Data shows CQ among the country’s worst drinkers, smokers

Central Queenslanders are among the country's worst smokers according to new findings from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's National Drug Strategy Household Survey.

More than 22,000 Australians, aged 14 and over, took part in the three-yearly survey which crunched the numbers on people's drug use throughout their lives, over the last 12 months, and how the patterns have changed over time.

The survey included people's opinions on a range of initiatives designed to reduce the harm caused by tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use.

While the nation as a whole recorded a decrease in tobacco and alcohol consumption, some concerning figures arose for CQ. 

Central Queensland had the fifth highest rate of daily smokers at 15.3 per cent - well above the Australian average of 11 per cent.

To qualify as a 'daily smoker' in the data, one used tobacco at least once a day (includes manufactured (packet) cigarettes, roll‑your‑own cigarettes, cigars or pipes) and excluded chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes (and similar) and smoking of non‑tobacco products.

Central Queensland also finished in the nation's top five riskiest lifetime drinkers with 22.6 per cent of the population exceeding the lifetime risk guidelines.

This was assessed by the accumulated risk from drinking either on many drinking occasions, or regularly over a lifetime.

The lifetime risk of harm from alcohol‑related disease or injury increases with the amount consumed.

Central Queensland's data was combined with Wide Bay and the Sunshine Coast.

Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes are bad habits that impact a person’s health. Picture: Ryan Drew
Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes are bad habits that impact a person’s health. Picture: Ryan Drew

See the raw data below:

Daily smoking rates (%):

Highest five

Northern Queensland 17.4

Country WA 17.3

Gippsland 17.1

Darling Downs and West Moreton 15.6

Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast 15.3

Lowest five

Western Sydney 8.7

ACT 8.2

Eastern Melbourne 8.0

Central and Eastern Sydney 6.6

Northern Sydney 3.3

Australia 11.0

Lifetime risky drinkers (%):

Highest five:

Murrumbidgee 25.0

Northern Territory 23.9

Gold Coast 23.5 Country WA 22.9

Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast 22.6


Lowest five:

ACT 14.1

Eastern Melbourne 12.6

North Western Melbourne 12.4

South Western Sydney 8.5

Western Sydney 7.6

Australia 16.8