13% of the adult population are current smokers

There are approximately 2.6 million current smokers in Australia

15.2% of men are current smokers but only 10.9% of women

Quick links to detailed datasheets for Australia
Country profile
Data sourced: 2022.   Page updated: 2023-10-10

Smoking in Australia

In 2017-18, just under one in seven (13.8%) or 2.6 million adults were daily smokers, whilst a further 1.4% of people also reported smoking on a less than daily basis. Since 1995, the proportion of adults who are daily smokers has decreased from 23.8% to 13.8% in 2017-18. Over recent years however, the daily smoking rate has remained fairly constant (14.5% in 2014-15). Despite this, the proportion of adults who have never smoked has increased from 49.4% in 2007-08 to 52.6% in 2014-15 and 55.7% in 2017-18. In 2017-18, young adults aged 18-24 years were more likely to have never smoked than any other age group, with 69.6% of men and 81.5% of women in this age group reporting that they had never smoked. These proportions have increased from 64.0% and 64.9% respectively since 2007-08. The national Health Survey was conducted in all states and territories and across urban, rural and remote areas of Australia in 2017/18. The survey included around 21,000 people in over 16,000 private dwellings. Previous surveys have been conducted since 1989/90.



In Australia, 22223 people die each year due to tobacco smoking.

95.4 million €

Market size of NRT.

NRT market size is estimated to be 95.4 million €.

Nicotine Vaping Devices

in Australia

In Australia the ban on the unauthorised sale, possession or use of nicotine preceded the arrival of e-cigarettes. By law nicotine is restricted and classified as a 'dangerous poison' in Australia. If it is used for therapeutic purposes, i.e. quitting smoking, nicotine products have to be registered under the Therapeutic Goods Act (1989). There are ways to legally access nicotine e-liquid, all of which require a prescription from a registered Australian medical practitioner. Few vapers use these methods, and few Australian doctors will write the relevant prescriptions. Australia has a strict regulatory environment for vaping, with a complex mix of federal and state laws. There are harsh penalties for possessing or using nicotine e-liquid (which vary from state to state), including jail sentences of up to two years and fines of up to AU$45,000. So far, no vapers have been convicted, although the threat is clear. Non-nicotine e-cigarettes are classified as legal consumer products. A new law was passed in South Australia in March 2019 which covers e-cigarette devices (but not nicotine) which restricts sales based on age (18+), vaping in public areas, and the sale of e-cigarette products without a license.

Heated Tobacco Products

in Australia

The sale of HTP is banned. HTP is illegal to be marketed.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

in Australia

NRT market size is estimated to be 95.4 million €. In Australia it is legal to purchase nicotine without using NRT prescription. NRT is legal to market. You can buy NRT in many general shops without a prescription.


in Australia

The sale of Snus is banned. Snus is legal to use.


in Australia

The sale of Pouches is banned. Pouches are illegal to be marketed.

The GSTHR database is updated regularly by our team. However, please be aware that the information we provide does not constitute legal advice. We cannot guarantee that the information is up to date or accurate, as the regulatory status of different product categories can change at short notice and with little publicity. If you wish to check the legal status of use or possession of any safer nicotine product in a specific country or region, you should verify the information independently. If you have reason to think that the information supplied on the GSTHR is inaccurate, please contact us with details and any references and we will rectify any errors.