Smoking and tobacco and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people smoke more than other Australians and are at higher risk of serious disease and death. Find out what resources and support are available to reduce smoking in these communities.
Higher smoking rates
Tobacco use is widespread among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples although smoking rates vary between regions and communities. Overall, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are almost 3 times more likely to smoke compared to non-Indigenous Australians.
In 2010 we began funding programs to reduce smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Since then tobacco use has substantially reduced. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, aged 15 years or more, who smoke daily has gradually reduced to 37% in 2018-19.
Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples tobacco smoking is:
- the most preventable cause of ill health and early death
- responsible for around 1 in 5 deaths
- directly responsible for ⅓ of cancer and cardiovascular disease
Choosing to live a smoke free life benefits you, your family and your community. Quitting smoking is one of the best choices you can make for your health, and the health of those around you. Read more about how to quit smoking.
Through the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program, we support regional organisations to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples:
- understand the impacts of smoking
- quit smoking
- not start smoking
The Don't make smokes your story website is designed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples wanting to quit smoking.
Quitline — call and ask to speak to an Aboriginal counsellor.
My QuitBuddy is an app that helps you get, and stay, smoke-free. It provides helpful tips and distractions to overcome cravings, tracking systems to chart your progress and the facts to help you understand the impact smoking has on your health.
This strategy aims to reduce the harmful effects alcohol and other drugs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.