A large representative sample of Australians aged 14 years or more was interviewed about smoking. Forty-one per cent of the males and 29% of the females aged 16 years and over currently smoked cigarettes. Smoking rates for both sexes were highest in the 20 to 24 years age group. People in metropolitan areas smoked more than those in rural areas. There was a clear excess of smoking among British immigrants. Higher socioeconomic level was associated with lower smoking rates, with higher ex-smoking rates and with more frequent choice of low-tar brands. Low-tar cigarrettes were used more where health education had emphasized the importance of tar content. Choice of brands among young smokers appeared related to the advertising strategies employed by cigarette companies. The majority of ex-smokers over 60 years of age had given up more than five years previously. Although comparison with earlier surveys of smoking habits is difficult, the results suggested a decrease in cigarette smoking among males and a slight increase among females.