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.