Tobacco smoking caused an estimated 20% of national Indigenous deaths in 2003. Smoking is twice as common in Indigenous as non-Indigenous Australians.
The project increased knowledge about Indigenous smoking by describing:
- Indigenous perceptions of why people smoke or quit
- The social determinants of Indigenous smoking
- National and local trends in Indigenous smoking
The project increased knowledge about tobacco control activities for Indigenous people by:
- Evaluating tobacco control projects
- Monitoring tobacco control activities in remote Indigenous communities.
This research added important new evidence about Indigenous perceptions of smoking and quitting in remote communities, the social determinants of smoking and quitting, local and national trends in Indigenous smoking, and evaluations of tobacco control interventions. It also established the feasibility of monitoring tobacco consumption trends in remote Indigenous towns, using store and takeaway sales of tobacco. Such monitoring (and local feedback) is analogous to the established monitoring of infectious disease notifications. It enabled policy responses to local changes in tobacco consumption, and facilitated the evaluation of the local impact of new tobacco control activities and policies.