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Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programme

A targeted approach

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, tobacco smoking is the most preventable cause of ill health and early death, and responsible for around one in five deaths. More national statistics.

Under the National Healthcare Agreement, the Council of Australian Governments has committed to halving the daily smoking rate among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults (aged 18 years or older) from the 2008 rate of 47.7%, 1 by 2018.

The Australian Government has delivered a targeted programme to reduce Indigenous smoking rates (Tackling Indigenous Smoking) with a regional grants programme to fund Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle Teams since 2010. It also supported the important complementary role of primary health care services in the delivery of brief interventions, and developed nationwide media campaigns targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as part of the National Tobacco Campaign, including Break the Chain television, radio, digital and print advertising, and the More Targeted Approach, Quit for You, Quit for Two targeting pregnant women.

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that all actions taken to address high rates of smoking are based on the available evidence, and are delivered in the most appropriate, effective and efficient way. To support this, a review of Tackling Indigenous Smoking was commissioned by the Department of Health in 2014 and a revised TIS programme with a budget of $116.8 million over 3 years ($35.3 million in 2015-16; $37.5 million in 2016-17 and $44 million in 2017-18) was announced by Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Assistant Minister for Health, on 29 May 2015. The programme is funded under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme.

Programme components

The programme consists of the following components:
  • Regional tobacco control grants to support multi-level approaches to tobacco control that are locally designed and delivered to prevent the uptake of smoking and support smoking cessation among Indigenous Australians (through a targeted grant round commencing in August 2015).
  • A National Best Practice Unit (NBPU) to support regional tobacco control grant recipients through evidence-based resource sharing, information dissemination, advice and mentoring, workforce development, and monitoring and evaluation, with support and leadership provided by the National Coordinator Tackling Indigenous Smoking, Professor Tom Calma AO (the NBPU to be sourced through an open tender process advertised on AusTender from 27 July until 1 September 2015).
  • Enhancements to existing Quitline services and provision of frontline community and health worker brief intervention training.
  • Programme Evaluation and Monitoring which will involve the design of an Evaluation and Monitoring Framework to be used for the development of local and national performance indicators for grant reporting and to guide overall programme evaluation.
  • Targeted projects and associated evaluations in areas of high need including those of significant disadvantage associated with high smoking rates and within specific groups such as pregnant women and young people susceptible to taking up smoking, for commencement in mid-2016.

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health – Chronic Disease

Tobacco Control