Tobacco use is decreasing in the general youth population yet little evidence is tracking changes in young people who are engaged with youth alcohol and other drug (AOD) services that are often disengaged from school and wok settings.
This study reviews tobacco use amongst 1823 young people engaged with youth AOD services in Victoria in 2013 and 2017 from the Youth Needs Census. This study contrasted use patterns over the three‐year period against Australian population data.
The results show tobacco use is not declining in the youth AOD engaged population as observed with other young Australians. Further, reductions in tobacco use observed in the community sample were not evident in the youth AOD group. Finally, high rates of tobacco dependence are shown in the 2016 cohort.
The results highlight a need for the adoption of evidence‐based tobacco early intervention programs in youth AOD services to address this significant health risk.