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Tobacco

Tobacco

Tobacco consumption is a major contributor to the poor health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with estimates that it accounts for 17% of the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians. With 47% of adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people smoking, it is way above the 17% rate for the wider Australian adult population.

'Smoke-busters': Maningrida’s experience implementing a tobacco control program

Tobacco is a major cause of the gap in life expectancybetween Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians [1]. Smoking prevalence in remote Aboriginal communities is several times higher than the national average [2] and has not declined over recent decades - suggesting that mainstream health promotion campaigns have been ineffective in this challenging setting. Following a community outreach program of Adult Health Checks, tobacco control was identified as a major priority to improve the health of people in Maningrida.

Aboriginal smoking rates down but Govt target a tough ask

A recently published paper has confirmed earlier findings that smoking rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are in decline, but says that the rate of decline will need to increase substantially if the Federal Government’s goal of halving smoking prevalence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians by 2018 is to be achieved.

Cannabis: A Trojan horse for nicotine?

The recent report published by the AMA and APMA into Indigenous tobacco issues raised important questions regarding the implementation of effective strategies to reduce high levels of tobacco smoking and related harm in this population. We are currently working on separate projects within the Top End of the Northern Territory to support smoking cessation in the Aboriginal population and also to develop interventions to reduce harm associated with excessive cannabis use by Aboriginal youth.

Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Tobacco Control (CEITC)

The Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Tobacco Control was established to address the high prevalence and incidence of tobacco smoking in Indigenous communities in Australia. Research has indicated that smoking is a leading contributor towards ill health and mortality for Indigenous people, with 20% of all deaths related to tobacco smoking.

Changes in smoking intensity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 1994–2008

Objectives: To describe smoking intensity among Indigenous Australians and any changes that occurred between 1994 and 2008.

Differential impact of Australian tobacco management policies for Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations – Is research evidence informing Indigenous smoking policy?

This project is being undertaken as part of a Masters and aims to provide a conceptual framework for future research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking, as well as to provide information that can feed into policy design processes. The project complements the objectives of the 'National Indigenous Tobacco Control Research Roundtable' held in May 2008 by the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Tobacco Control.

Diversity of Substance Use in Eastern Arnhem Land (Australia): Patterns and recent changes

The objective of this study was to describe patterns of substance use among remote Aboriginal community populations. The setting was the eastern Arnhem Land ('Miwatj') region of the Northern Territory's (NT) 'Top End', with a population of 4217 Aboriginal people over 15 years of age using a cross-sectional description and comparison. Sample 1 ( n = 689) from the region used data from health-worker consensus classification of kava, alcohol, tobacco, petrol and cannabis use.

Evaluation of a health education initiative for urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Lowitja institute awarded a Small Grant to the University of Queensland and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) in 2013 to evaluate the IUIH’s Deadly Choices program. Deadly Choices in an initiative of the IUIH in south east Queensland and is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Exploring resilience and coping in relation to smoking within 'at risk' populations

This project investigates, through a literature review and interviews, what psychological, social, political or environmental factors contribute to successful quitting or resilience against taking up smoking in populations where a high percentage of individuals smoke.

Guest Editorial: Dr Tom Calma

Dr Tom Calma is a Kungarakan Elder from the Northern Territory and has a long record of achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs with a career spanning more than 38 years as an academic, public servant, political adviser and diplomat. He is founder and co-Chair of the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee and was the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Race Discrimination Commissioner from 2004 to 2010.

Health Care Access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People Living in Urban Areas, and Related Research Issues: A Review of the Literature

Although it is well recognised that the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is substantially worse than the rest of the Australian population, historically there has been a paucity of information about the health status and health needs of those people living in urban areas. This literature review describes the current status of research in urban areas and provides an information base for the development of targeted research to fill identified knowledge gaps.

Heavy smoking drop among First Australians

There has been a major decline in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people classified as heavy smokers, according to research published in the November 2012 issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.

The study’s analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data found that the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day had declined from 17.3 per cent in 1994 to 9.4 per cent in 2008 – a relative 45 per cent reduction.

Incidence, Aetiology, and Outcomes of Cancer in Indigenous Peoples in Australia

An assessment of recent data on cancer in Indigenous Australians (Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders) shows that, although they are less likely to have some types of cancer than other Australians, Indigenous people are significantly more likely to have cancers that have a poor prognosis, but are largely preventable, such as lung and liver cancer.

Indigenous Australians and Tobacco: A literature review

This study has three specific aims: to review literature on tobacco use among Indigenous Australians; to provide an audit of tobacco interventions and programs for Indigenous Australians; and to assess the effectiveness of the various interventions and programs with Indigenous Australians. While there is an abundance of evidence for the effectiveness of tobacco interventions in other Australian populations, only one formally evaluated intervention program was found to have had any effect in Indigenous communities.

Indigenous Tobacco Control in Australia: Everybody's Business, National Indigenous Tobacco Control Research Roundtable Report, Brisbane, Australia, 23 May 2008

The National Indigenous Tobacco Control Research Roundtable brought together 66 representatives from community-controlled organisations, research institutions, state, territory and federal governments, and non-government organisations (NGOs), to discuss gaps and priorities in the research agenda in Indigenous tobacco control.

From an analysis of the priorities and their accompanying discussions, five areas have been highlighted that represent gaps in knowledge about Indigenous tobacco control and that require further work:

Indigenous Tobacco Control in Australia: Everybody’s Business - Summary Report

The National Indigenous Tobacco Control Research Roundtable brought together sixty-six representatives from community-controlled organisations, research institutions, state, territory and federal governments, and non-government organisations (NGOs), to discuss gaps and priorities in the research agenda in Indigenous tobacco control.

From an analysis of the priorities and their accompanying discussions, five areas have been highlighted that represent gaps in knowledge about Indigenous tobacco control and that require further work:

Long-term trends in cancer mortality of Indigenous Australians of the Northern Territory

Objective

To examine long-term trends in cancer mortality in the Indigenous people of the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia. Design: Comparison of cancer mortality rates of the NT Indigenous population with those of the total Australian population for 19912000, and examination of time trends in cancer mortality rates in the NT Indigenous population, 19772000. Participants: NT Indigenous and total Australian populations, 19772000. Main outcome measures: Cancer mortality rate ratios and percentage change in annual mortality rates.

Maternal and household smoking behaviours during pregnancy and postpartum: Findings from an Indigenous cohort in the Northern Territory

Objective: To describe the trends in maternal smoking and smoking in the household for a cohort of Indigenous women followed from late pregnancy to 7 months postpartum.

Design and setting: Prospective cohort study embedded within a randomised controlled trial (RCT) performed in the Northern Territory involving participants recruited between 30 June 2006 and 4 May 2010.

MJA special edition features strong Institute presence

The Lowitja Institute had a strong presence in this year’s special issue of the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) devoted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, which was published on 2 July 2012.

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