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Previous research has shown that cutting the prevalence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking would have a major impact on mortality rates within Australia's Indigenous populations, whose life expectancy on average was 17 years less than non-Indigenous Australians. It is estimated that smoking accounts for about three years of the life expectancy gap, but little is known about the effectiveness of tobacco control programs targeting Indigenous populations. This project was undertaken as part of a Masters in Applied Science and provided a conceptual framework for future research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking; it also provided information that can feed into policy design processes.
The project's key aims were:
The project's methodology involved a review of the literature on the prevalence of smoking within Indigenous communities both in Australia and overseas, and also drew on successful examples of smoking reduction policies implemented in overseas countries including New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Research evidence was analysed using systematic review and a psychosocial framework adapted from the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health's framework on health inequality. The new conceptual framework is developed from the systematic review using Holton, et al. (2007) general research process for using Dubin's theory building model.
La Trobe University