Tobacco is one of the leading contributors to the burden of disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The overall goal of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) program is to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through local population specific efforts to reduce harm from tobacco. The program supports culturally appropriate /tailored tobacco control interventions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that supplement broader measures for tobacco control such as plain packaging and tobacco excise duties.
TIS is a component of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP). Following a review of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Health Lifestyle Programme in 2014, the Department of Health (the Department) introduced the redesigned TIS program.
- The redesigned TIS program shifted funding away from dedicated healthy lifestyles workers delivering broader healthy lifestyle activities, toward funding for programs and activities that have a primary focus on tobacco reduction outcomes.
- The key program design elements of the revised TIS program include the use of evidence based multi-component tobacco control strategies, using and promoting best practice approaches to tobacco control, use of population health and place-based approaches, and building partnerships and collaborations to support innovation, capacity-building and behaviour change.
- The current TIS program offers flexibility in how the activities are delivered at local and regional levels, targeting approaches for specific groups with a focus on the outcomes to be achieved, rather than being prescriptive in relation to the activities to be delivered.
- Community trust and support has been integral to the success of the TIS program and the considerable investment made by grant recipients in consultation, collaboration and community engagement has resulted in increases in the number of individuals and organisations involved in tobacco control.