The Summary of tobacco use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a plain language publication that provides summarised and updated information from the Review of tobacco use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (2020). This review summarises the evidence from journal publications, government reports, national data collections and national surveys accessed through the HealthInfoNet’s database of publications. Please note that statistics presented do not always include all states and territories, see sources for details.
- From 1788, tobacco was brought to Australia by European colonisers. The colonisers’ use of tobacco disrupted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ culture and connection with Country and caused health problems. Colonisation also led to ongoing trauma, stress, racism and exclusion from economic systems, all factors that are associated with tobacco use.
- Smoking levels among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have declined significantly in recent decades, but it is still common and more reductions are possible.
- In order to make sure progress continues, there needs to be more research into ‘what works’ to tackle smoking for First Nations people. This should be done by evaluating programs and incorporating knowledge from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and service providers.
- The summary recommends the development, funding and delivery of holistic, culturally safe tobacco programs that are supported long-term to ensure sustainability of services with streamlined administrative processes.