Smoking and young people

Most people who smoke as adults first tried cigarettes in their teenage years.1 During adolescence, smoking uptake and prevalence escalates rapidly. Less than 2% of young West Australians aged 12 years reported smoking at least once in the past week, when surveyed in 2014. This increased to 10% among those aged 17 years in the same year.2

The Heart Foundation's Smarter than Smoking Project has been providing smoking prevention resources to WA students for almost 20 years - and with their website, will continue this journey online.

The Smarter than Smoking website features print-friendly school and community resources to educate and support teachers, parents and young people about tobacco use and smoking related issues.

For more information and resources related to smoking and young people visit;

  • The Critics' Choice - A program that gives students from around Australia the opportunity to judge 12 anti-smoking ads from across the globe and encourages them to vote on which is the most effective in stubbing out smoking in young people.
  • Drug Education - The Department of Education supports schools, early childhood educators and community agencies to take a resilience approach to alcohol and other drugs education.
  1. Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and issues. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria; 2016. Available from
  2. Department of Health, Western Australia. Australian Secondary Students' Alcohol and Drug Survey 2014: Western Australian Results: Tobacco. Perth: Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate, Public Health Division, Department of Health, Western Australia; 2016;