A report published in a perspective paper revealed that as per the latest figures sourced out of the NSW, the number of adolescents into smoking has dropped by 70 percent over past the 20 years. However, according to experts, a constant vigilance is necessary to check the implementation of further marketing techniques to promote the use of tobacco.
“Twenty years ago we had to smoke amongst 12- to 17-year-olds sitting at about 23.5 percent and we’re now as low as 6.7 percent,” the ABC quoted Anita Dessaix, one of the authors of the new report, from the Cancer Institute of New South Wales, as saying.
The experts have attributed the drop to the smoke-free environment, plain packaging and other advertising policies that spread awareness against smoking and restrictions on the access to tobacco by adolescents. The report observed that by preventing the sales of tobacco products to minors, it is possible to reduce and subsequently stop the uptake of smoking.
According to Dessaix, the tobacco companies are seeking new forms of advertising techniques as the traditional forms of marketing for the products closed off.
“There’re some key policy items that stand out,” Dessaix said. “We know that increasing the price of cigarettes is extremely effective, and continued and sustained investment in public education campaigns have been quite effective.”
She added that 20 years ago, the average age at which the adolescents started smoking was 14 years. But the recent study has shown an increase in that age as well to 16 years.
“On average, for every extra hour that young people spend on the internet daily, their exposure to smoking in video games increases by 8%,” the report, published in the journal Public Health Research and Practice, said. “Significant progress has been made, but further action is required to achieve continued declines in smoking by Australian adolescents by preventing uptake and aiding quitting. Constant vigilance is needed to address new and innovative tobacco marketing strategies.”