Journal article
Description

Tobacco use is the leading contributor to the burden of disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and is both an issue of great concern and an area for considerable health gains. Reducing tobacco use is achievable. This review takes a strengths-based approach to examine tobacco use in detail, specifically in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander context. Often, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is viewed through comparative statistics with the non-Indigenous population which can reproduce deficit discourse. These comparisons can also obscure the diversity of nations, cultures, perspectives, languages and experiences that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represent. This review moves beyond comparison to understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ tobacco use in context. 

Key Findings:

  • There have been significant reductions in tobacco use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in recent decades. However, the prevalence of tobacco use is still too high, and further reductions are achievable.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience structural discrimination and barriers to participating in education and employment, which are key factors protective against smoking. To reduce smoking, it is therefore important to ensure all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have access to appropriate education and employment opportunities.
  • The report states a need to expand the evidence base on what works to reduce smoking, incorporating knowledge from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and service providers. To enhance these current positive trends, all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, regardless of location or other characteristics, need to have access to effective and appropriate tobacco control programs and initiatives.
Publication Details
Volume:
20
License type:
CC BY-NC-ND
Issue:
2