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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin



Marley JV, Kitaura T, Atkinson D, Metcalf S, Maguire GP, Gray D (2014)

Clinical trials in a remote Aboriginal setting: lessons from the BOABS smoking cessation study.

BMC Public Health; 14: 579

Retrieved 10 June 2014 from


Australian Department of Health and Ageing (2013)

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023.

Canberra: Australian Department of Health and Ageing

This plan provides a long-term, evidence-based policy framework as part of the Council of Australian Governments' approach to Closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage. The Australian Government worked in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community groups, and peak bodies to produce the plan.

The plan builds on the United nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples, with a focus on:

  • policies and programs to improve Indigenous health
  • social and emotional wellbeing
  • resilience
  • promoting healthy behaviours
  • the centrality of culture for health and wellbeing
  • the right of people to be safe and empowered.

The plan at a glance includes:

  • the vision
  • principles
  • priorities
  • implementation.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Gould GS (2013)

A snapshot of the development of anti-tobacco messages for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities – report from an Australian national survey.

Cairns: James Cook University

This publication reports on a national survey to determine current practices used in the development of tobacco control messages by organisations in Australia providing anti-tobacco programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Forty-seven people from 44 different organisations including Aboriginal medical services, government and non-government organisations, and universities were interviewed about their programs.

This study aimed to fill an important knowledge gap in the way messages and accompanying resources are being produced and disseminated. Analysis of the data gained from the survey will enable contributions towards making future recommendations for best practice. The authors recommend refinement of evaluation, pre-empting cultural challenges, and synergy by partnerships to achieve the goal of closing the gap on Indigenous health caused by tobacco smoking.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Johnston V, Thomas D, Westphal D, Earnshaw C (2013)

Starting to smoke: experiences of Indigenous youth.

Melbourne: Lowitja Institute

This report documents the methodology, findings and conclusions of the Starting to smoke research project. The aim of the project was to explore the reasons young Indigenous people in the Northern Territory start smoking as well as the protective factors which prevent smoking. Young people aged 13-20 years of age were recruited from urban and remote communities to participate in one-on-one and group interviews.

A particular focus of the project was on the social and cultural processes that influence smoking uptake in this group. Based on the project's findings, the report makes recommendations regarding future smoking prevention initiatives. The project was carried out in the Northern Territory across two sites: one in Darwin and one in a remote community in Arnhem Land.

Abstract adapted from Lowitja Institute


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012)

Risk factors contributing to chronic disease.

Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Cosh S, Maksimovic L, Ettridge K, Copley D, Bowden J (2012)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander utilisation of the Quitline service for smoking cessation in South Australia.

Australian Journal of Primary Health; 19(2): 113-118

Dawson AP, Cargo M, Stewart H, Chong A, Daniel M (2012)

"I know it's bad for me and yet I do it": exploring the factors that perpetuate smoking in Aboriginal health workers - a qualitative study.

BMC Health Services Research; 12: 102

Retrieved 25 April 2012 from

Dawson AP, Cargo M, Stewart H, Chong A, Daniel M (2012)

Aboriginal Health Workers experience multilevel barriers to quitting smoking: a qualitative study.

International Journal for Equity in Health; 11(27): 1-21

Hoad V, Hayward C (2012)

Student Aboriginal health worker smoking: findings from a training college in Western Australia [letters].

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health; 36(3): 296-297

Newslines Radio (2012)

stop smoking: newslines radio.

Retrieved 23 April 2012 from

This webpage contains the audio program and transcript of an April 2012 Newslines Radio episode, on the topic of smoking among Indigenous people. The episode focuses on the nationwide push to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to stop smoking or to not take up smoking in the first place. The National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking, Tom Calma, is interviewed on the issue, along with regional tobacco coordinators and health workers.

Abstract adapted from

Stewart JM, Sanson-Fisher RW, Eades S, Fitzgerald M (2012)

The risk status, screening history and health concerns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attending an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.

Drug and Alcohol Review; 31(5): 617–624

Winstanley MH (2012)

Tobacco use among Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

Retrieved May 2009 2012 from


Calma T (2011)

Wangka Pulka newsletter guest editorial: Dr Tom Calma.

Wangka Pulka newsletter; (August 2011): 6-7

Fredericks B, Adams K, Finlay S, Andy S, Briggs L, Briggs L, Hall R, Rowe P (2011)

Effective partnerships between the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) in tackling smoking.

Paper presented at the CRIAH Aboriginal Health Research 2011 Conference. 5-6 May 2011, Sydney

Hughes D (2011)

Give smokes the flick – a qualitative evaluation of two quit smoking resources for Aboriginal pregnant women.

Lismore, NSW: Clinical Education and Training Institute Rural Directorate

The Give smokes the flick, it really makes cents (GSTF) resource was developed for workers with pregnant Aboriginal clients.

This evaluation aimed to determine if workers and clients found this resource effective and culturally appropriate. It also aimed to determine the impact the resource had on smoking behaviours of pregnant Aboriginal women and their families and the Aboriginal workers connected to them.

The evaluation found that GSTF is an effective smoking cessation strategy for Aboriginal people. By clearly linking quitting tobacco use to financial savings, it appears to resonate within the context of disadvantage faced by many Aboriginal people and motivate smokers to reduce or quit smoking. GSTF was considered culturally appropriate, however the study identified major skills gaps amongst workers providing cessation services to Aboriginal clients.

Abstract adapted from Clinical Education and Training Institute Rural Directorate

Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (2011)

Making links for healthy places: creating supportive environments for healthy eating and physical activity in Aboriginal and Torres strait islander communities in Queensland.

South Brisbane, QLD: Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council

Thompson M, Robertson J, Clough A (2011)

A review of the barriers preventing Indigenous Health Workers delivering tobacco interventions to their communities.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health; 35(1): 47–53


Boyle T, Shepherd CC, Pearson G, Monteiro H, McAullay D, Economo K, Stewart S (2010)

Awareness and impact of the ‘Bubblewrap' advertising campaign among Aboriginal smokers in Western Australia.

Tobacco Control; 19(1): 83-86

Ipsos-Eureka Social Research Institute, Winangali Pty Ltd (2010)

Developmental research to inform the local Indigenous community campaigns to promote better health.

Canberra: Department of Health and Ageing, Australia

Ipsos-Eureka Social Research Institute, Winangali Pty Ltd (2010)

Developmental research to inform the National Action to Reduce Smoking Rates social marketing campaign.

Canberra: Department of Health and Ageing, Australia

Johnston V, Thomas DP (2010)

What works in Indigenous tobacco control? The perceptions of remote Indigenous community members and health staff.

Health Promotion Journal of Australia; 21(1): 45-50

NSW Health (2010)

The NSW SmokeCheck Aboriginal Tobacco Prevention Project – the final report.

North Sydney: NSW Department of Health

Thompson MA (2010)

What are Indigenous health workers saying about their smoking status: does it prevent them providing tobacco information and/or quit support to the community?.

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal; 34(2): 3-5, 8

van der Sterren A, Goreen Narrkwarren Ngrn-toura - Healthy Family Air Project Team 2010 (2010)

Goreen Narrkwarren Ngrn-toura – healthy family air: a literature review to inform the VACCHO Smoking amongst Pregnant Aboriginal Women research project.

Melbourne: Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

This literature review informs the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation's (VACCHOs) research project 'Goreen Narrkwarren Ngrn-toura - Healthy Family Air' (Reducing Smoking amongst Pregnant Aboriginal Women in Victoria: An Holistic Approach) funded by the Victorian Department of Health. The review includes information on: what is known about why Indigenous women smoke before, during and after pregnancy, and why they might quit; and the types of activities and programs that could reduce smoking among pregnant Indigenous women. Recommendations for tobacco control activities with pregnant Indigenous women included: training of Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) to enable them to deliver individual clinic-based control activities; program and policy development in organisations that work in with existing services, that support smoking cessation programs, and that support AHWs who smoke to quit; and community development activities that promote the unacceptability of smoking in Indigenous communities, that are holistic, that support pregnant women to quit, and that address social disadvantage.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009)

Tobacco smoking in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, 2004-05.

Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics

To provide an overview of smoking in the Indigenous population, this report used data from the National Health Survey: Summary of Results: 2004-05; the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: 2004-05; and Tobacco Smoking - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: A snapshot, 2004-05. It was found that half of Indigenous Australian adults smoke (50%), and among Indigenous men living in remote areas nearly 60% smoke. The Indigenous population is nearly twice as likely to smoke regularly compared with the non-Indigenous population and this rate applies across all age groups. Indigenous females are nearly three times more likely to smoke regularly than non-Indigenous females.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Tobacco Control (2009)

Learning from each other: Oceania tobacco control 09 Indigenous pre-conference workshop report.

Melbourne: The University of Melbourne

Heart Foundation (2009)

Indigenous tobacco control: position statement.

Canberra: Heart Foundation

Middleton PF, Strategic Health Research Program Team (2009)

Preventing infant deaths among Aboriginal and teenage women in South Australia.

Adelaide: Australian Research Centre for Health of Women and Babies

Pilkington AAG, Carter OBJ, Cameron AS, Thompson SC (2009)

Tobacco control practices among Aboriginal health professionals in Western Australia.

Australian Journal of Primary Health; 15(2): 152-158


Pyett P, Waples-Crowe P, Loughron KH, Gallagher J (2008)

Healthy pregnancies, healthy babies for Koori communities: some of the issues around alcohol and pregnancy.

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal; 32(1): 30-32

Reeve CA, De La Rue S, McBain KE (2008)

Indigenous lifescripts: a tool for modifying lifestyle risk factors for chronic disease.

Australian Family Physician; 37(9): 750-754

Last updated: 18 June 2014
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