DAILY smoking habits among Australian adults have dramatically dropped during the pandemic, a new snapshot on the habit has shown.
But adults in Ballarat, Victoria are lighting up at double this daily rate for a city long found to be out-smoking most of the nation.
One in 10 Australian adults are lighting up daily, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics findings released this month, compared to about one in seven taking a puff before coronavirus conditions.
While the snapshot did not offer location breakdowns, Australia's Health Tracker report showed last year more than 18 per cent of adults in the Victorian Grampians region smoked daily.
The tracker, released by Victoria University's Mitchell Institute, found the Grampians as a whole had been gradually butting out more in the five years to 2020. This has followed the national trend.
ABS snapshot data shows people who lived in disadvantaged areas during the pandemic were three times more likely to smoke daily than people who lived in the nation's most affluent areas.
Young Australians are also increasingly choosing not to smoke with 98 per cent of teenagers aged 15 to 17 considering themselves non-smokers.
These figures come as New Zealand unveiled plans on Thursday to outlaw sales of cigarettes to anyone aged 14 and under today to never be able to legally purchase or procure tobacco.
But this is just part of the bigger picture.
Quit Victoria launched a new campaign this year to help parents and teachers combat a rise in teenage vaping.
E-cigarettes are widely considered a tactic from tobacco companies to hook young people into habits from a young age. World Health Organisation recognises this as a major international issue.
Quit Victoria director Sarah White said parents too often felt they were "in the dark" on health risks of vaping.
"Most people don't know that there are no quality or safety standards for e-cigarettes or e-liquids, which means their manufacture, contents and labelling are unregulated," Dr White said in the campaign launch.
Dr White said most parents and teenagers did not realise it was illegal to sell e-cigarette devices or liquid to under-18s - even if products claimed to not contain nicotine.
Manufacturers and retailers of tobacco products and e-cigarettes don't care about your kids' health. They're just desperate to get a new generation of kids hooked.- Dr Sarah White, Quit Victoria director
"Manufacturers and retailers of tobacco products and e-cigarettes don't care about your kids' health," Dr White said.
"They're just desperate to get a new generation of kids hooked on nicotine, which is why they promote flavours like peach, popcorn, crème caramel and bubble gum to kids - just to stay in business."
E-cigarettes contain harmful chemicals that can cause vomiting, shortness of breath and lung disease, according to Quit Victoria.
Tobacco smoking is one of Australia's largest causes of preventable disease and death from conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, renal disease, eye disease and respiratory conditions.
Smokers have up to 50 per cent higher chance of severe illness from a COVID-19 infection and this has prompted a worldwide butt-out trend, according to WHO.
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