Tasmanians are smoking and drinking less, but illicit drug use has remained relatively unchanged in recent years, a survey has found.
Released today, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2019 examines a person's behaviour of drug use throughout their life and during the past 12 months.
Released every three years, the 2019 report surveyed 22,274 Australians aged over 14.
It found the proportion of daily smokers in Tasmania fell by about one third between 2001 and 2019, from 21 per cent to 12.8 per cent respectively.
In 2019, there were also fewer current smokers in Tasmania at 14.1 per cent, compared to 18.1 per cent in 2016.
The report also noted a small increase in the number of people who had used e-cigarettes in their lifetime, at 10.3 per cent compared to 7.2 per cent in 2016.
This was in line with national trends showing the proportion of people who have ever used e-cigarettes rose from 8.8 per cent to 11.3 per cent.
In other news:
Cannabis remained the most commonly used illicit drug in Tasmania at 12.6 per cent, compared to 12.4 per cent in 2016.
In 2019, pain-killers and opioids used for non-medical purposes (2.5 per cent) were the second most commonly used illicit drug in the previous 12 months after cannabis.
The report also found Tasmanians in 2019 were twice as likely to become the victim of an alcohol-related incident than a drug-related incident (21 per cent compared with 9.5 per cent).
However, the number of Tasmanians drinking alcohol at levels exceeding the lifetime risk remained down from 23 per cent in 2007, to 16.6 per cent in 2019.
Overall the survey found Tasmanians were less likely to support measures to reduce alcohol-related harm.
In 2019, only 30 per cent of respondents said they supported reducing trading hours for pubs and clubs, compared to 41 per cent in 2016.
For the first time the 2019 survey also asked respondents about policy measures for illicit drugs and harm minimisation.
It found more than 55 per cent of people supported allowing drug users to test their pills/drugs at designated sites to inform them of the purity and the substances the drug contained.
Similarly, about 44 per cent said they supported supervised drug consumption facilities or rooms.
Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Council Tasmania policy manager Dr Jackie Hallam said the results showed Tasmanians were increasingly open to seeing drugs as a health issue.
"It is very reassuring that we can have mature conversations these days about alcohol and other drugs," she said.
"The level of public discussion has certainly come a long way in the last 20 years."
Acknowledging progress in reducing smoking rates, Dr Hallam said while some Tasmanians were getting healthier, others were being left behind.
"While we still have a higher rate of smoking in Tasmania than the Australian average, there has been a huge decrease in the number of smokers in Tasmania from 2001 until now," she said.
"This is great news for Public Health and we applaud the efforts of the Cancer Council and specifically Quit Tasmania in their work in bringing this rate down, as well as other hard working health professionals.
"However, this is not the full story, other recent research has shown that some people are left behind, with some local government areas still having a high proportion of smokers.
"This points to the need to tailor interventions further to drive this number down."