Stop Before You Start

Stop Before You Start puts a spotlight on young adults and their smoking, especially the point where they might turn from social smoking to regular smoking.

Stop Before You Start focuses on reducing the number of 17 to 20-year-olds taking up smoking.

The campaign highlights the health and social impacts of smoking. The challenge to young adults is to understand that social smoking can lead to regular smoking, so ‘stop before you start’.

Research shows that if you can get to 24-years-old without smoking it is likely you will never start smoking. Therefore, a key focus for Stop Before You Start is to increase 17 to 20-year-olds’ resistance to tobacco. This includes:

  • understanding the nature of tobacco and its harms
  • increasing pro-smokefree and anti-tobacco attitudes.

The Stop Before You Start website contains information and tools to help resist tobacco and remain smokefree, including:

  • a cost of smoking calculator
  • an interactive quiz – how much do you know about smoking?
  • a Get Help section that links to information about how to find local stop smoking services and contact details for Quitline.  

    Key messages

    Social smoking leads to regular smoking.
    Stop before you start.


    Stop Before You Start communicates with young adults 17 to 20-years-old who are at risk of taking up smoking. This includes people that are not daily smokers but may be experimenting with social smoking and risk becoming established smokers.