Youth smoking rates in NSW hit an all-time low

Youth smoking in NSW has dropped to its lowest rate ever, with only 6.7% of adolescents aged 12−17 years describing themselves as heavy, light or occasional smokers, a paper published today in the journal Public Health Research & Practice shows.

The perspectives paper, by authors from the Cancer Institute NSW and the NSW Ministry of Health, says this represents a drop of nearly 18% since 1996, when the figure was 23.5%.

“Rising cigarette prices, smoke-free environment and advertising policies, plain packaging and mass media campaigns such as the National Tobacco Campaign have all played a role in us being able to achieve these rates,” said lead author and the Cancer Institute’s Manager of Cancer Prevention Anita Dessaix.

“But as traditional forms of tobacco advertising close off, tobacco companies are seeking alternative ways to promote their products. On average, for every extra hour that young people spend on the internet daily, their exposure to smoking in video games increases by 8%.”

Ms Dessaix said it was crucial that the number of young people who have never smoked continued to increase as this would have long-term effects on the health of our population. Since 2001, the proportion of young ‘never smokers’ in Australia has jumped 20% and in 2014, 77% of 12 to 17-year-olds were in this category.

“We have come a long way – Australia now has one of the lowest rates of youth smoking in the world – but we need to remain vigilant and responsive to tobacco industry marketing tactics,” Ms Dessaix said.

 Other papers in this issue of Public Health Research & Practice

High number of early repeat caesareans in NSW prompts call for new strategies

Researchers have found poor compliance with NSW policy on elective or prelabour caesareans.
Kathrin Schemann, Jillian Patterson, Tanya Nippita, Jane Ford, Deborah Matha and Christine Roberts
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Study finds breast cancer recurrence in NSW higher than previously reported

A study based on the 45 and Up Study cohort finds breast cancer recurrence is 3.3% per year on average for women who are between 18 months and 6 years postdiagnosis.
Anna Kemp-Casey, Elizabeth Roughead, Christobel Saunders, Frances Boyle, Derrick Lopez, Max Bulsara and David Preen
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GP visits mean more rehabilitation care for patients with acute coronary syndrome

Study finds patients with acute coronary syndrome who saw a GP within 6 months after discharge had significantly higher rates of participation in cardiac rehabilitation, receipt of dietary advice and prescription of cardioprotective medications.
Julie Redfern, Karice Hyun, David Brieger, Clara Chow,  Marcus Ilton, David Amos, Kevin Alford, Philip
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How will the new Primary Health Networks integrate primary care and public health?

Three viewpoints – from the Commonwealth Department of Health, the Public Health Association of Australia, and a Sydney Primary Health Network about how PHNs might integrate population health within the new primary care landscape.
Mark Booth, Graham Hill, Michael J Moore, Danielle Dalla, Michael G Moore and Anne Messenger
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How can general practice and population health connect to improve health outcomes?

PHRP guest editor, Prof Mark Harris, argues that barriers at service delivery and system levels are preventing the optimal treatment of chronic disease – better linkage and communication is needed.
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Integrating primary care and public health for better outcomes – a view from Liverpool (UK)

Despite having some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK, Liverpool is well placed to deliver improved population health, through new commissioning arrangements, building on community assets, patient engagement and greater use of primary care data.
Rachael Gosling, Sandra Davies and John Hussey
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Collaboration leads to a better maternity care survey for NSW

Researchers from The Kolling Institute and the Bureau of Health Information collaborated to create a better survey to assess the maternity care received by NSW mothers.
Angela Todd, Clare Aitken; Jason Boyd and Maree Porter
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Scaling up health interventions for maximum reach and better outcomes

Successful scaling up of public health interventions requires the systematic use of evidence and the mobilisation of human, technical and community resources..
Andrew Milat, Robyn Newson, Lesley King, Chris Rissel, Luke Wolfenden, Adrian Bauman, Sally Redman, Michael Giffin
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Public Health Research & Practice is a peer-reviewed, quarterly online open access journal published by the Sax Institute.

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