Estimated population, aged 18 years and over, who were current smokers and had asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 2014–15


Policy context:  Smoking or exposure to smoking is the main cause of COPD and may account for up to 8 out of 10 COPD deaths [1] [2]. Although it is not known of the causes of asthma, evidence has shown a number of risk factors can contribute to the development of asthma such as smoking and other risk factors such as obesity, gender, family history and environmental and lifestyle factors [3].


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) snapshot. Available at:, last accessed 16/04/2019.
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. Available from:, last accessed 16/04/2019.
  3. Australian Department of Health. Chronic respiratory conditions - including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 2018. Available from:, last accessed 16/04/2019.

Notes:  In the absence of data from administrative data sets, estimates are provided for certain chronic diseases and conditions from the 2014–15 National Health Survey (NHS), conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Small area estimates:

Data by Population Health Area, Local Government Area and Primary Health Network are available for the 2014-15 National Health Survey in the data archive.

Indicator detail

A current smoker is defined as an adult aged 18 years and over who reported at the time of interview that they smoked manufactured (packet) cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, cigars, and/or pipes at least once per week. It excludes chewing tobacco and smoking of non-tobacco products.

Asthma refers to persons ever told by a doctor or nurse that they have asthma, and whose asthma is current or long term. Whether a person's asthma is current or not was determined by whether they had had any symptoms of asthma or taken treatment for asthma in the last 12 months. A long-term condition is defined as a condition that is current and has lasted, or is expected to last, for 6 months or more.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to persons ever told by a doctor or nurse that they have bronchitis or emphysema; or not diagnosed but who consider their condition to be current and long-term.


Geography:  Data available by quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Remoteness Area


Numerator:  Estimated number of people aged 18 years and over with asthma and/or copd as a current, long-term condition who reported being a current, daily or at least once weekly smoker


Denominator:  Population aged 18 years and over


Detail of analysis:  Indirectly age-standardised rate per 100 population (aged 18 years and over); and/or indirectly age-standardised ratio, based on the Australian standard


Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on direct estimates from the 2014–15 National Health Survey, ABS Survey TableBuilder.


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