NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Smoking : @KenWyattMP announces $35.2 million funding #ACCHO Anti-smoking programs

These health services are all delivering frontline services to prevent young Indigenous people taking up smoking and to encourage existing smokers to quit.

Reducing smoking rates is central to the Government’s efforts to close the gap in life expectancy, but requires a consistent, long-term commitment”

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt

Over 100 NACCHO Articles about smoking

REDUCING INDIGENOUS SMOKING TO CLOSE THE GAP

The Australian Government will provide $35.2 million next financial year to continue anti-smoking programs targeted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in regional and remote areas.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, said the Government had approved the continuation of funding to 36 Aboriginal Community ControlledHealth Services and one private health service.

“These health services are all delivering frontline services to prevent young Indigenous people taking up smoking and to encourage existing smokers to quit,”  .

“Reducing smoking rates is central to the Government’s efforts to close the gap in life expectancy, but requires a consistent, long-term commitment.

“Smoking causes the greatest burden of disease, disability, injury and earlydeath among Indigenous people and accounts for 23 per cent of the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

Under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Healthcare Agreement, all governments have committed to halving the 2008 adult daily smoking rate among Indigenous Australians, of 44.8 per cent, by 2018.

“The rate of smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is still far higher than among other Australians and is damaging their health in many ways,” Minister Wyatt said.

It’s unlikely now that we will meet the COAG target, but we are making progress.

“It’s important that anti-smoking programs are meaningful for Indigenous people and changes made in recent years have ensured that only programs which are evidence based and effective are receiving grants.”

Continued funding for the 37 health services follows a preliminary evaluation of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program which found that it was operating effectively and using proven approaches to changing smoking behaviour.

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and #Smoking : Pack warning labels help Aboriginal smokers butt out

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Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across 140 health settings are helping smokers in our communities to quit.

Pack warning labels are also an important element as smokers read, think about and discuss large, prominent and  graphic labels.

This comprehensive approach works to reduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking and the harm it causes in our communities,’

Matthew Cooke from the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

Pack warning labels are motivating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit smoking according to new research released by Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) today.

The study has shown that graphic warning labels not only motivate quit attempts but increase Indigenous smokers’ awareness of the health issues caused by smoking.

Forming part of the national Talking About The Smokes study led by Menzies in partnership with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, the 642 study participants completed baseline surveys and follow-up surveys a year later.

The study found that 30% of Indigenous smokers at baseline said that pack warning labels had stopped them having a smoke when they were about to smoke.

Study leader, Menzies’ Professor David Thomas said, ‘This reaction rose significantly among smokers who were exposed to plain packaging for the first time during the period of research. The introduction of new and enlarged warning labels on plain packs had a positive impact upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers.’

Professor David Thomas, explained the significance of this finding, ‘Reacting to warning labels by forgoing a cigarette may not seem like much on its own. However, forgoing cigarettes due to warning labels was associated with becoming more concerned about the health consequences of smoking, developing an interest in quitting and attempting to quit. This is significant for our understanding of future tobacco control strategies.’

In addition, Indigenous smokers who said at baseline they often noticed warning labels on their packs were 80% more likely to identify the harms of smoking that have featured on warning labels.

Just under two in five (39%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 and over smoke daily. Smoking is responsible for 23% of the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

In 2012, pack warning labels in Australia were increased in size to 75% on the front of all packs and 90% of the back at the same time as tobacco plain packaging was introduced.

The study was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and published in the Nicotine & Tobacco Research journal and available at:

http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2017/01/08/ntr.ntw396.full.pdf+html.

Summary of findings
  • The research is part of the Talking About the Smokes study http://www.menzies.edu.au/page/Research/Projects/Smoking/Talking_About_the_Smokes/
  • A total of 642 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers completed surveys at baseline (April 2012-October 2013) and follow-up (August 2013-August 2014)
  • At baseline, 66% of smokers reported they had often noticed warning labels in the past month, 30% said they had stopped smoking due to warning labels in the past month and 50% perceived that warning labels were somewhat or very effective to help them quit or stay quit
  • At follow-up, an increase in stopping smoking due to warning labels was found only those first surveyed before plain packaging was introduced (19% vs 34%, p=0.002), but not for those surveyed during the phase-in period (34% vs 37%, p=0.8) or after it was mandated (35% vs 36%, p=0.7). There were no other differences in reactions to warning labels according to time periods associated with plain packaging.
  • Smokers who reported they had stopped smoking due to warning labels in the month prior to baseline had 1.5 times the odds of quitting when compared with those who reported never doing so or never noticing labels (AOR: 1.45, 95% CI: 1.02-2.06, p=0.04), adjusting for other factors.
  • Smokers who reported they had often noticed warning labels on their packs at baseline had 1.8 times the odds of correctly responding to five questions about the health effects of smoking that had featured on packs (AOR: 1.84, 95% CI: 1.20-2.82, p=0.006), but not those that had not featured on packs (AOR: 1.03, 95%CI 0.73-1.45, p=0.9) when compared to smokers who did not often notice warning labels.

NACCHO Advertisement

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NACCHO has announced the publishing date for the 9 th edition of Australia’s first national health Aboriginal newspaper, the NACCHO Health News .

Publish date 6 April 2017

Working with Aboriginal community controlled and award-winning national newspaper the Koori Mail, NACCHO aims to bring relevant advertising and information on health services, policy and programs to key industry staff, decision makers and stakeholders at the grassroots level.

And who writes for and reads the NACCHO Newspaper ?

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While NACCHO’s websites ,social media and annual report have been valued sources of information for national and local Aboriginal health care issues for many years, the launch of NACCHO Health News creates a fresh, vitalised platform that will inevitably reach your targeted audiences beyond the boardrooms.

NACCHO will leverage the brand, coverage and award-winning production skills of the Koori Mail to produce a 24 page three times a year, to be distributed as a ‘lift-out’ in the 14,000 Koori Mail circulation, as well as an extra 1,500 copies to be sent directly to NACCHO member organisations across Australia.

Our audited readership (Audit Bureau of Circulations) is 100,000 readers

For more details rate card

Contact : Colin Cowell Editor

Mobile : 0401 331 251

Email  : nacchonews@naccho.org.au

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Smoking Research : The Don’t Make Smokes Your Story advertising is helping smokers to quit

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 ” The Don’t Make Smokes Your Story Campaign was effective because it reflected the impact of smoking on family and community.

The evaluation showed

  •  9 per cent of people interviewed had quit as a result of seeing the campaign and
  • 27 per cent had cut down on their smoking.
  • A further 26 per cent intended to quit in the next month

The campaign shares the story of a young man who decides to quit to make sure he will be around to look after his children as they grow,

Approximately 39 percent of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over are daily smokers, which is nearly three times the rate for other Australians.

Smoking is estimated to account for one-in-five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths, so changing attitudes to smoking is vital to closing the gap on health.”

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt

 ” Most of our people understand that smoking is harmful to themselves, to their children, to partners and to the community. One in five of our mob die from smoking related diseases and many others are sick because of smoking.

Passive smoking, that’s breathing in somebody else’s smoke, is as dangerous as smoking a cigarette and children are amongst those most affected. We all need to take on the challenge and make our homes, our cars, our social events, our meeting places, our council rooms and our workplaces smoke free.”

Tom Calma National Coordinator for the Australian Government’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program- see full message below

A significant portion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers have taken action to quit smoking after seeing the Don’t Make Smokes Your Story advertising campaign.

Watch video here

Assistant Minister for Rural Health, Dr David Gillespie, said an independent evaluation of the campaign by ORC International found that it had generated high awareness and was very effective.

The campaign, launched in May this year, focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 to 40 years who smoke or have recently quit.

“This is an important campaign that seeks to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit smoking for themselves and their families,” Dr Gillespie said.

Don’t Make Smokes Your Story – National Tobacco Campaign

TV script – 45 seconds

Ted and his family sitting on the back steps with his guitar.

VO: Family is everything to me.

We see Ted in the kitchen with his extended family.

VO: I can’t imagine life without them, to be honest.

We see Ted in the hospital with an oxygen mask on his face. A close up of his finger with a pulse monitor attached.

VO: I’ve had my battles with smokes.

We see Ted’s wife standing at his hospital bedside.

VO: My lungs got pretty bad

We see a close up of Ted’s face with the oxygen mask.

VO: Sometimes I could hardly breathe and that was tough on everyone.

We see Ted and his sons outside together.

VO: and that was tough on everyone.

In a flashback, we cut to a younger Ted at a skate park, smoking with a mate. We then see them passing cigarettes to each other as they sit in the skate bowl.

VO: I’m not sure why I smoked; I just did.

We see Ted playing with his children in the backyard.

VO: My kids, Jarrah and Yani, I wanted to be there for them, so I quit. I’ve quit before; I just kept trying.

We see Ted kicking a football with his children.

VO: now I can keep up with them in the yard….

Ted helps his children riding their bikes on the street.

VO: …and I’ve got more money to spend on better things.

We see Ted standing in front of his house taking a selfie with his Mum.

VO: Mum and the Aunties are pretty happy that I quit.

We see Ted with his extended family in the kitchen.

VO: They didn’t want me to die from smokes like Dad did.

We see Ted’s face and a shot of Ted standing in front of his house with his children playing football behind him.

VO: My name is Ted, and family is my story.

SUPER: DON’T MAKE SMOKES YOUR STORY.

Quit now: My Quitbuddy logo, Quitline 137848, Australia.gov.au/quitnow, Australian Government crest

VO: Don’t make smokes your story. Download the app, call the Quitline, or visit quitnow.

SUPER: Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra.

ANNCR: Authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra.

“The Coalition Government is committed to reducing high Indigenous smoking rates.”

The campaign highlights the dangers of smoking, the reasons for quitting, and the tools and support available to help support people who have quit. It featured on television, radio, print, online and outdoor media, with a strong presence in regional and remote communities.

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The evaluation showed

  •  9 per cent of people interviewed had quit as a result of seeing the campaign and
  • 27 per cent had cut down on their smoking.
  • A further 26 per cent intended to quit in the next month.

Calls to the Quitline increased over the campaign period and downloads of the My QuitBuddy app reached more than 30,000 new users.

Download here

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The campaign complements the Coalition Government’s $116.8 million Tackling Indigenous Smoking program which delivers targeted smoking prevention and cessation activities.

Video message – Professor Tom Calma

Welcome to the Quitnow website.

My name is Tom Calma. I am from Darwin and I am Kungarakan on my mother’s side and Iwaidja on my father’s side.

As the National Coordinator for the Australian Government’s Tackling Indigenous Smoking Program, it’s my job to support those working with our mob to quit, or not take up smoking.

If you need help to stop smoking or you want to try and help somebody else quit, then you’ve come to the right place.

This website has got all the information you need about how to quit and what support services are available to help you on your journey.

Most of our people understand that smoking is harmful to themselves, to their children, to partners and to the community. One in five of our mob die from smoking related diseases and many others are sick because of smoking.

Passive smoking, that’s breathing in somebody else’s smoke, is as dangerous as smoking a cigarette and children are amongst those most affected. We all need to take on the challenge and make our homes, our cars, our social events, our meeting places, our council rooms and our workplaces smoke free.

Smoking or breathing in somebody else’s smoking while you’re pregnant also puts a mum and the baby at higher risk of health problems, and some of these problems can affect the baby for life.

Children with parents who smoke are more likely to take up smoking themselves. Be a positive role model for the children around you and break the smoking cycle.

Not only is smoking bad for your health, it is also expensive. Think about how much money you and your family could save if you support each other to quit!

Now most smokers want to quit and have tried to quit. While our people have done a fantastic job in quitting smoking, we still have a long way to go.

I ask my brothers and sisters, Aunties and Uncles and young ones to give up smoking or not take it up. I also ask you to help others you care about to choose the no smoking path. That way we can all lead long and healthy lives.

So enjoy the website and I wish you all the best in quitting and staying smoke free. Don’t make smokes your story!

Background

The Australian Government has strengthened its commitment to closing the gap in Indigenous life expectancy, with the launch of the latest phase of the National Tobacco Campaign.

Don’t Make Smokes Your Story features new advertising materials specifically targeted at encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to make a serious quit attempt, not just for themselves but also for the health and wellbeing of their families.

Approximately 39 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 15 are daily smokers, 2.8 times the smoking rate for other Australians. It is estimated that smoking accounts for one in five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths.

The Don’t Make Smokes Your Story campaign aims to change this. It tells the inspiring story of Ted, a mid-thirties Aboriginal and South Sea Islander man who decided to quit smoking for his family, to make sure he’d be around to look after his kids. The campaign highlights the dangers of smoking, the reasons for quitting, and the tools and support available to help people stay quit.

Find out more from your nearest ACCHO or

The Quit Now website has more useful information about quitting smoking.

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Smoking :Facebook could help lower Indigenous smoking rates,health researchers say

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“Facebook is a more effective way of reaching Indigenous Australians than traditional forms of communication; what we need to figure out is how to harness that message,”

Marita Hefler from the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.

“On Facebook I have seen some of my friends quitting smoking, using Facebook as a diary, and they’ve been very successful. I’m hoping that sharing my experiences will also help me quit,”

After suffering a heart attack on her 50th birthday, Chuna Lowah is trying to quit smoking, and is hopeful Facebook can help.

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Articles are from Page 8  NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper out Wednesday 16 November , 24 Page lift out Koori Mail : or download

naccho-newspaper-nov-2016 PDF file size 9 MB

Indigenous people have the highest rates of smoking in the country, but researchers in the Top End believe Facebook could be the most effective way of helping them quit.

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As reported the ABC

Aboriginal people living in remote communities smoke at three times the rate of other Australians, according to research fellow Marita Hefler from the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.

Preliminary research into the role of Facebook in helping smokers to quit has found that although the living situations of Indigenous Australians differs widely across the Northern Territory, even those who lack food or clothing may still own a smartphone.

“We know that Aboriginal people use social media at very high rates; it’s been taken up even in remote communities, particularly where people have limited communication through other means,” Ms Hefler said.

Researchers believe Indigenous people use Facebook at higher rates than the overall population, making it one of the most effective ways to reach out.

“Facebook is a more effective way of reaching Indigenous Australians than traditional forms of communication; what we need to figure out is how to harness that message,” Ms Hefler said.

Early findings show that when friends and family talk about quitting smoking on social media, it has a greater effect than traditional hardline anti-smoking ads.

“The people in your Facebook networks influence you the most,” Ms Hefler said.

“In the past, anti-smoking advertising has relied heavily on having a captive audience; we know that smokers don’t like the content they are seeing, but they can’t get away. Now with the advent of Facebook, all you have to do is swipe and the message is gone.”

Cigarettes more popular than fruit in outback stores

Customers in remote Australia spent roughly four and a half times more on cigarettes than fruit and vegetables in 2015-16, said Stephen Bradley, chairman of Outback Stores, a government-owned company which manages 37 businesses in some of the remotest parts of the country.

An incentive program run by Outback Stores to improve community health has resulted in a 0.5 per cent drop in soft drink sales and a five per cent increase in fruit and vegetable sales, but Mr. Bradley admits more needs to be done.

“We remain convinced that a significant dietary change will take many years and our support programs need to operate for the longer term to be effective,” he said.

The Federal Government is aiming to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous life expectancy within a generation.

Indigenous deaths caused by heart disease and strokes have been dropping but on average Indigenous people are still dying 10 years younger than non-Indigenous Australians.

“Smoking in Aboriginal communities looks quite different to what it does in the rest of Australia,” Ms Hefler said.

“There’s historical reasons why the smoking rate is higher: it’s tied up in inter-generational trauma, and we also know the stolen generations are more likely to smoke.”

Using Facebook to quit

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After suffering a heart attack on her 50th birthday, Chuna Lowah is trying to quit smoking, and is hopeful Facebook can help.

Ms Lowah has been a smoker for more than half her life and agrees the tough traditional anti-smoking ads are too easy to ignore.

“On Facebook I have seen some of my friends quitting smoking, using Facebook as a diary, and they’ve been very successful. I’m hoping that sharing my experiences will also help me quit,” she said.

The preliminary research findings from Menzies have been welcomed by NT Territory Labor MP Chansey Paech, whose central Australian electorate of Namatjira has a high Indigenous population.

“Both the Territory and Federal Governments have made significant contributions over the last several years to reduce the rates of smoking, so I’m looking forward to reading the report and seeing what the recommendations are, and hopefully reducing the smoking rate in the Northern Territory, which we know is too high,” he said.

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NACCHO Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage #Smoking and Healthy Lives report : Cigarettes favoured over fruit in Outback stores

 

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” Between 2001 and 2014-15, the crude daily smoking rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults declined from 50.7 to 41.4 per cent (table 8A.4.1).

  A similar decline in non-Indigenous smoking rates meant that the gap in (age-adjusted) daily smoking rates remained relatively constant at around 26 percentage points between 2001 and 2014-15 (table 8A.4.7).

There is no published robust evaluation of an intervention resulting in a decrease in the prevalence of tobacco smoking for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Minichiello et al 2016). “

The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Download Chapter 8 or see below

naccho-download-nov-2016-chapter8-healthy-lives

Read 90 NACCHO articles about Tackling Indigenous Smokes

Or Articles page 8 NACCHO Aboriginal Health Newspaper out Wednesday 16 November , 24 Page lift out Koori Mail : or download

naccho-newspaper-nov-2016 PDF file size 9 MB

” Tobacco turnover had remained “consistently high” with 8.34 million sticks sold over the year and tobacco accounting for 19 per cent of all food and grocery sales.

Customers spent 4.4 times more on cigarettes than fruit and vegetables in 2015/16.”

Chairman Stephen Bradley revealed in the annual report of Outback Stores Pty Ltd, the government-owned company which manages 37 businesses in some of the remotest parts of Australia.

Lung cancer is the highest-ranked cancer type among Indigenous people, but the fourth-ranked for non-indigenous Australians.

An incentive program to improve community health has resulted in a 0.5 per cent drop in soft drink sales and a five per cent increase in fruit and vegetable sales.

 Location of Outback stores across Australia.

Location of Outback stores across Australia.

But the company admitted more needed to be done.

“We remain convinced that a significant dietary change will take many years and our support programs need to operate for the longer term to be effective,” Mr Bradley wrote.

The government is aiming to close the gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous life expectancy within a generation, halving the gap in mortality rates for under-fives within a decade and halving the gap in employment outcomes.

The company reported 297 Indigenous staff were employed in Outback Stores businesses, which turned over $82.5 million in 2015/16.

Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016

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–>The Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Chapter 8.4

Tobacco consumption and harm[1]

Things that work

There is no published robust evaluation of an intervention resulting in a decrease in the prevalence of tobacco smoking for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Minichiello et al 2016).

A systematic review of 73 interventions in indigenous communities globally found that there was no single intervention that was more likely to result in a reduction in tobacco use, but rather that more successful programs:

  • use a comprehensive approach inclusive of multiple activities
  • centre Aboriginal leadership
  • make long-term community investments
  • provide culturally appropriate health materials and activities to produce desired changes (Minichiello et al. 2016).

Research from the national Talking About The Smokes project also highlighted the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to tobacco control, reporting that a broad range of factors were associated (positively and negatively) with the desire by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit (Nicholson et. al 2015).

Box 8.4.1      Key messages
·      Between 2001 and 2014-15, the crude daily smoking rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults declined from 50.7 to 41.4 per cent (table 8A.4.1).

·      A similar decline in non-Indigenous smoking rates meant that the gap in (age-adjusted) daily smoking rates remained relatively constant at around 26 percentage points between 2001 and 2014-15 (table 8A.4.7).

 

Box 8.4.2      Measures of tobacco consumption and harm
There is one main measure for this indicator (aligned with the associated NIRA indicator), rates of current daily smokers, measured by the proportion of people aged 18 years and over who are current daily smokers (all jurisdictions; remoteness; age; sex).

Smoking rate data are available from the ABS Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS)/National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS), with the most recent data available from the 2014‑15 NATSISS. Data for the non‑Indigenous population are sourced from the ABS Australian Health Survey (AHS)/National Health Survey (NHS), with the most recent data available from the 2014-15 NHS.

Previous editions of this report included a supplementary measure on tobacco-related hospitalisations. This is no longer included as the measure only related to conditions directly attributable to tobacco — not most conditions, where tobacco may be a contributing factor but the link is not immediate. Data are also difficult to interpret as they represent less than one per cent of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander hospitalisations and are therefore highly volatile over time.

Tobacco consumption is a subsidiary performance measure for COAG’s target of ‘closing the life expectancy gap (between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians) within a generation’ (COAG 2012).

In Australia, up to two-thirds of deaths in current smokers can be attributed to smoking (AHMAC 2015). Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, tobacco use is the leading risk factor contributing to disease and death (Vos et al. 2007). Studies have found that smoking tobacco increases the risk of developing numerous cancers, heart and vascular diseases, and depression (AHMAC 2012; Cunningham et al. 2008; Pasco et al. 2008). Smoking in pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth (Graham et al. 2007). Section 6.2 includes information on women reporting smoking during pregnancy.

Compared to non-Indigenous people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who smoke generally commence at an earlier age and smoke for longer (CEITC 2010, 2014). Recent research (Knott et al. 2016) suggests also there may be fundamental differences in the determinants of smoking and the reasons for quitting, between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women.

Research has found that the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults who want to quit smoking and those who have made a quit attempt in the past year, are similar to the general population. However fewer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have made a sustained quit attempt for at least a month and a lower proportion agree that social norms disapprove of smoking, compared to the general population (Thomas et. al 2015).

Tobacco use is often associated with other lifestyle related health risk factors, such as excessive alcohol consumption and poor diet. Long term risky/high risk drinkers (both males and females) were more likely to be current smokers than those who drank at a low risk level (ABS 2006). Section 11.1 examines alcohol consumption and harm.

In Australia and many other countries smoking behaviour is inversely related to socioeconomic status, with those in disadvantaged groups in the population more likely to start and continue smoking. In addition to long-term health risks, low income groups (such as some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities) are affected by the financial strain associated with tobacco use (Greenhalgh 2015). A recent study in NSW found that more disadvantaged areas were significantly more likely to have higher tobacco outlet densities, with this density significantly and positively associated with smoking status (Marashi-Pour 2015).

Tobacco consumption

Current daily smokers are people who smoked one or more cigarettes (or pipes or cigars) per day at the time of survey interview.

The COAG performance measure and the data presented in this section focus on the proportion of people aged 18 years and over who are current daily smokers. However, as noted, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians tend to start smoking at an earlier age than non‑Indigenous people — for 2014-15, in non-remote areas around one in six (16.2 per cent) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 15 to 17 year olds were current daily smokers, compared with one in thirty (3.3 per cent) non‑Indigenous 15 to 17 year olds (table 8A.4.12).

Nationally in 2014-15, the crude daily smoking rate among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults was 41.4 per cent, a decline from 50.7 per cent in 2001 (table 8A.4.1). Rates varied across states and territories in 2014-15, from 38.8 per cent in SA to 46.2 per cent in the NT (table 8A.4.1). Smoking rates were higher in remote and very remote areas (49.3 per cent and 48.9 per cent) than in major cities (36.3 per cent) (table 8A.4.2). In non-remote areas in 2014-15, smoking was most prevalent among those aged 25–54 years (between 45.4 and 46.5 per cent), with smoking rates much lower for older people (31.3 per cent for those aged 55 years and over). A similar pattern was observed for non‑Indigenous Australians, although the daily smoking rates were consistently lower across all age groups (table 8A.4.12).

After adjusting for different population age structures, in 2014-15 the current daily smoking rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians was 2.8 times the rate for non-Indigenous Australians (table 8A.4.7). The gap in smoking rates was widest in remote areas (table 8A.4.8).

 

Figure 8.4.1   Current daily smokers aged 18 years and over, 2001 to 2014-15a, b
a Error bars represent 95 per cent confidence intervals around each estimate. b Rates are age standardised.
Sources: ABS (unpublished) National Health Survey 2001; ABS (unpublished) National Health Survey and National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2004-05; ABS (unpublished) National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2008; ABS (unpublished) National Health Survey 2007-08; ABS (unpublished) Australian Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2012-13 (core component); ABS (unpublished) Australian Health Survey 2011–13 (2011-12 core component); ABS (unpublished) National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15; ABS (unpublished) National Health Survey, 2014-15; table 8A.4.7.

Between 2001 and 2014-15, after adjusting for differences in population age structures, the daily smoking rate declined for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and non‑Indigenous adults, leaving the gap relatively unchanged at around 26 percentage points (figure 8.4.1).

Data for smoking rates reported by State and Territory are available by remoteness in tables 8A.4.2–6 and 8A.4.8−10 and by sex in tables 8A.4.11-12.

Research from the national Talking About The Smokes project also highlighted the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to tobacco control, reporting that a broad range of factors were associated (positively and negatively) with the desire by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit (Nicholson et. al 2015).

[1]    The Steering Committee notes its appreciation to the National Health Leadership Forum, which reviewed a draft of this section of the report.

NACCHO Aboriginal health and smoking : Some good news but 40 % of mums to be still smoking

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 “South Australia is leading the nation in efforts to reduce smoking rates amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, according to data released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics.

The 2014-15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey shows a significant decrease in daily smoking rates in South Australia, down from 48.9 per cent in 2008 to 38.2 per cent in 2014/15.

SA leads the way in reducing Indigenous smoking rates

 ” If you’re pregnant or planning to be, ‘Quit for you – Quit for two’ provides support and encouragement to help you give up smoking.

It will take your mind off the cravings with fun exercises and games to keep your hands busy. It distracts you when you feel the urge to light up, with practical quit tips and advice. It inspires you to keep going with amazing facts about your baby’s development.

Download the free APP ‘Quit for you – Quit for two’  see article 2 below

 “Aboriginal communities across Australia will benefit from a $2.26 million national grant awarded to University of Newcastle (UON) public health researchers for a culturally competent smoking cessation program focused on the health and wellbeing of pregnant Aboriginal women.

The study, called ‘Indigenous Counselling and Nicotine (ICAN) QUIT in Pregnancy’, was developed in collaboration with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.

In Australia we have declining rates of smoking among pregnant women in general – the rate is currently around 10% – but with Aboriginal women the rate is up around 40% and there has been no decline,”

Professor Bonevski

$2.2 million grant for quit-smoking trial helping pregnant Aboriginal mums  see Article 3 below

This decrease of 10.7 percentage points means South Australia now has one of the lowest daily smoking rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.

Background

Drug and Alcohol Services SA delivers an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focussed program to tackle smoking.

This includes working in partnership with Aboriginal community controlled health services and a social marketing campaign called ‘Give up Smokes for Good’ featuring respected Aboriginal non-smoking ambassadors who deliver positive tobacco related health messages to their local communities.

Smoking data compiled by the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute shows that, across the whole South Australian population:

  • The smoking rate among South Australians declined from 20.5% in 2010 to 15.7% in 2015
  • Smoking among people aged 15 to 29 declined from 22.9% in 2010 to 16.9% in 2015
  • Smoking among people with a mental illness declined from 34.5% in 2010 to 26% in 2015

Quotes attributable to Substance Abuse Minister Leesa Vlahos

This data shows that South Australia is leading the way nationally in the decline of daily smoking rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

While we know there is still more to do, our Closing the Gap initiatives are positively impacting smoking rates. These include our stop smoking support services and our ‘Give up Smokes for Good’ campaign.

There is still significant progress to be made to reduce the burden of disease from tobacco smoking in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but these recent figures show an encouraging trend.

 ‘Quit for you – Quit for two’ Article 2

42

If you’re pregnant or planning to be, ‘Quit for you – Quit for two’ provides support and encouragement to help you give up smoking.

It will take your mind off the cravings with fun exercises and games to keep your hands busy. It distracts you when you feel the urge to light up, with practical quit tips and advice. It inspires you to keep going with amazing facts about your baby’s development. And, it gives you ideas for what you could buy with the money you’re saving every day you don’t spend money on cigarettes.

You can even personalise the app with your details so that you get daily reminders and words of encouragement. Enter your due date and the app will automatically message you to let you know how your baby’s growing.

It’s a fun and really practical way to quit and stay smoke-free for the health of you and your baby.

Download the ‘Quit for you – Quit for Two’ app free on your iPhone or iPad from the Apple iTunes online store or for your android phone at Google Play store

$2.2 million grant for quit-smoking trial helping pregnant Aboriginal mums Article 3

Aboriginal communities across Australia will benefit from a $2.26 million national grant awarded to University of Newcastle (UON) public health researchers for a culturally competent smoking cessation program focused on the health and wellbeing of pregnant Aboriginal women.

The study, called ‘Indigenous Counselling and Nicotine (ICAN) QUIT in Pregnancy’, was developed in collaboration with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.

With a four-year funding package announced yesterday under the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) scheme, the team led by Professor Billie Bonevski and Dr Gillian Gould will now collaborate with a larger group of around 30 Aboriginal health care services around the nation.

“In Australia we have declining rates of smoking among pregnant women in general – the rate is currently around 10% – but with Aboriginal women the rate is up around 40% and there has been no decline,” Professor Bonevski said.

“A lot of tobacco control measures in Australia have, until recently, been targeted at non-Aboriginal Australians whereas the (ICAN) QUIT in Pregnancy resources have been specifically developed to be a health promotion platform for Aboriginal communities as they draw on the knowledge and expertise of the community.

“They are grounded in culturally appropriate material and Aboriginal people deliver the smoking cessation support. From a cultural perspective this is very important.

“During the first phase of the study our quit smoking resources were pre-tested with Aboriginal women, elders and health professionals in three States. They received very favorable responses, are were thought to reflect the diversity of Aboriginal peoples in Australia,” Dr Gillian Gould said.

The NHMRC grant will enable researchers to provide full training and resources to staff at half of the health services involved in the trial, with the other half serving as a control group so that program outcomes can be effectively evaluated.

Under the trial, health data such as baby birth weight and lung health will also be collected by Professor Jorge Mattes and Laureate Professor Roger Smith AM from the UON’s GrowUpWell and Mothers and Babies research centres to highlight the benefit of quitting for the newborn child.

Professor Bonevski and Dr Gould research in conjunction with HMRI’s Public Health program. Pilot research was funded by the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance and the NSW Ministry for Health. Dr Gould also has fellowship funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Institute of NSW.

   

NACCHO Aboriginal Health and Smoking : New #AIHW report Indigenous smoking rates gap is widening

smoking

 ” While improvements were seen across all population groups, some achieved greater progress than others.

For example, despite the fact that Indigenous smoking rates are improving, they are not improving at the same rate as non-Indigenous Australians, so the gap is widening across a number of indicators.

Factors influencing smoking behaviours among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) people are complex and interrelated.

As with other populations, some Indigneous people experience multiple levels of disadvantage, for example, low socioeconomic position, unemployment, low educational attainment and a single-parent household type.

There were significant declines in the proportion of Indigenous people smoking tobacco daily and being exposed to tobacco smoke between baseline and midpoint.

However, they were generally more likely to be exposed to tobacco smoke, to have tried and transitioned to established smoking patterns and were less likely to succeed at quitting smoking than non-Indigenous people.

Between baseline and midpoint, the difference in rates (the gap) among these groups narrowed for some indicators but widened for others. The gap widens despite the fact that Indigenous smoking rates are declining because the non-Indigenous rate is declining faster than the Indigenous rate. The gap closes when the Indigenous rate is declining faster than the non-Indigenous rate.

Tobacco Indicators: measuring mid-point progress: reporting under the National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018

Table 3.1: Smoking phases, per cent change (Indigenous)

Download report here

national-tobacco-strategy-mid-point-report

Read 85 NACCHO Smoking Stories HERE

Tobacco smoking remains a major cause of many health problems, but according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Australians’ smoking behaviours are improving-with some groups improving more than others.

The report, Tobacco Indicators: measuring mid-point progress: reporting under the National Tobacco Strategy 2012-2018, measures smoking behaviours in Australia against a range of indicators, and shows that across most, Australia is progressing well.

The report’s indicators look at a range of smoking phases-including exposure to tobacco smoke, initial uptake of tobacco smoking, established smoking patterns and quitting-and measure progress since the baseline report, released in 2015.

‘Since the baseline report, we’ve seen improvements when it comes to people taking up smoking, with fewer secondary school students and adults trying cigarettes-and those who do, are taking up tobacco smoking at older ages than in the past,’ said AIHW spokesperson Tim Beard.

Falls were also recorded in the number of secondary students and adults who smoked regularly with a decline of almost a quarter for both groups.

‘Our report also shows a significant fall in the number of children and non-smokers who are exposed to tobacco smoke in the home,’ Mr Beard said.

While improvements were seen across all population groups, some achieved greater progress than others.

‘For example, despite the fact that Indigenous smoking rates are improving, they are not improving at the same rate as non-Indigenous Australians, so the gap is widening across a number of indicators.’

Similar findings were seen for people living in Remote and Very remote areas (compared to Major cities).

Daily smoking rates significantly improved among people living in the lowest and second-lowest socioeconomic areas, but not at the same rate as those living in the highest socioeconomic area.

The report showed unclear results when it came to quitting, but some positive results were recorded among people who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime (referred to in the report as ‘ever-smokers’).

Since the baseline report, the proportion of adult ever-smokers who have now quit smoking has risen from 47% to 52%.’

In 2013, more than half (52%) of adult ever-smokers had quit smoking (they had not smoked in the last 12 months). This was an increase from 47% in 2010.

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NACCHO Smoking and Aboriginal Health : Queensland’s nation-leading smoking laws commence

Smoking

“We’ve gone from 30 per cent of adults smoking daily to 12 per cent in 15 years, and encouragingly, the number of teenagers smoking has dropped from 24 per cent to 6 per cent over the same period, so the message is getting through,

“But smoking, and exposure to second-hand smoke, remains a major public health issue.

“While market research shows most smokers try and do the right thing when it comes to where they smoke, these new smoke-free areas will serve to firm-up protection for non-smokers.

In particular the laws will protect children from second-hand smoke at the places where they learn and play sport, as well as reducing the visibility of smoking when young eyes are watching.”

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick

WNTD

NACCHO has published Approx. 8 Smoking related articles

Australia’s toughest anti-smoking laws aimed at reducing the harm caused by secondary smoking in Queensland come into effect from today.

New laws come into effect from September 1 expanding smoke-free zones to include bus stops, taxi ranks, ferry terminals or any public transport waiting point, under-18 organised sporting events and skate parks, at and around early childhood education and care facilities and at public swimming pool complexes.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the laws were designed to protect all Queenslanders from harmful second-hand smoke, to further encourage smokers to quit, and importantly, to discourage young people from ever starting to smoke.

Smokers will also be required to butt out at popular visitor areas such as picnic and barbecue sites and camping ground areas in National Parks from February 1, 2017.

Queensland National Parks Minister Dr Steven Miles said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) would be rolling out an education campaign to advise park visitors of the upcoming smoking bans.

“QPWS is working closely with Queensland Health to ensure appropriate education strategies are in place to communicate the smoking restrictions in national parks to the public,” Dr Miles said.

“Visitors to National Parks will see the smoking ban message on QPWS web pages, on the department’s online camping booking system, on camping tags, and gradually in signage in parks.

“The design and placement of signage will strike a balance between informing the community about the smoking restrictions, and avoiding visual pollution in national parks.”

The ban will apply to pedestrian precincts around prescribed State Government owned or occupied buildings, such as the new building at 1 William St.

As about 88 per cent of Queensland adults are non-smokers, the new smoking laws respond to community demands for more smoke-free public areas.

Mr Dick said that the new laws would reinforce the message that second-hand smoke is a danger to everyone and smokers can get help if they wish to stop.

“Queenslanders have a good track record of accepting and complying with new smoke-free places, particularly those associated with children, so I believe smokers will also comply with these new rules,” he said.

“We know our measures are working as the smoking rate is declining and we have also seen an encouraging increase in calls to Queensland Health’s Quitline in recent months.”

In that time, there has been a 40 per cent increase in calls to Quitline following two quit smoking advertising campaigns – from the Commonwealth and State levels – being ‘in market’ at the same time.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, commended the Queensland Government for introducing the laws.

“These laws will save lives and lay the foundation for a smoke-free future,” he said.

“Almost one Queenslander will die every day from inhaling tobacco smoke, without ever having smoked a cigarette in their life.

“There is no safe level of smoking or passive smoking, and we know that bans on smoking in public places are an effective way of creating smoke-free communities.

“Most smokers want to quit, and each year about 10,000 of them are successful in Queensland – many more are now likely to succeed thanks to the Queensland Government’s actions.

“Smoking is estimated to cost the Queensland economy more than $6 billion each year, causing 3,422 deaths and resulting in over 35,000 hospitalisations.

“These regulations will help to end the tragic toll that cigarettes take on our lives – smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in Queensland: two in three Queensland smokers will die from the habit; one-third of smokers will tragically die in middle age, losing at least 20 years of life; and current smokers will die an average of 10 years earlier than non-smokers, with mortality rates increasing substantially with the increased intensity of smoking.

“Community support for smoke free spaces is higher than ever, with majority non-smokers and only about 12 per cent of the adult population smoking daily.

“We applaud the Health Minister for his action.”

Smokers interested in quitting should phone

13 QUIT (13 7848)

for a tailored quit smoking program.

Background:

The amendments to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 were passed on 23 February 2016 and come into effect on 1 September 2016. The new tobacco laws will:

  • Ban smoking at or near underage organised sporting events and skate parks
  • Ban smoking in and around approved early childhood education and care facilities, including kindergartens and places offering after school hour care
  • Ban smoking at all residential aged care facilities outside of nominated outdoor smoking places
  • Increase the smoke-free buffer at all government, commercial and non‑residential building entrances from four to five metres
  • Ban smoking at pedestrian precincts around prescribed State Government buildings, such as 1 William Street
  • Ban smoking at prescribed national parks or parts of parks
  • Ban smoking at public swimming pools
  • Ban smoking at all outdoor pedestrian malls and public transport waiting points
  • Empower local government to ban smoking in any other public space, including on any street or park
  • Ban the sale of tobacco products from temporary retail outlets, such as at music festivals.
  • The laws also include electronic cigarettes as they are classified as smoking products.

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal #Healthelection16 : Croakey Profiling diversity and innovation in Indigenous smoking programs

images9XCCD1VK

“The initiative, launched in 2010, has helped to reduce Indigenous smoking rates, that have been falling at a faster rate than was seen in the general population, and he expects the 2016 national census to confirm anecdotal expectations of more success.

If we have consistent government policies instead of the ‘stop start’ (approach) we’ve seen, the vulnerability of funding, and the demoralising of the community….then we will see even faster gains,” he told Croakey.

“When you start to engage with people, they need to know there’s a future. Our people have too often invested a lot of time and effort into initiatives of government, just get excited about it, and then there’s a change of direction, change of Minister, change of government. It’s got to stop.”

Professor Tom Calma, Chancellor of the University of Canberra and a founder of the Close the Gap Campaign, is ever optimistic about the success of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking initiative, after the Federal Government last year committed funding and resources to a redesigned program

Our thanks to Editor: Melissa Sweet Author: Marie McInerney and the team at Croakey for permission to publish : Please support /Donate /subscribe

Around the world, diverse and innovative programs are tackling high smoking rates among Indigenous communities, according to presentations at the World Indigenous Cancer Conference in Brisbane last week.

Some of these are big and nationwide like the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program led by Professor Tom Calma in Australia.

Others are small, innovative and targeted, from efforts to “Keep it Sacred” among the Navajo tribes in the United States, through to a board game developed to help Maori Aunties to discourage smoking among young pregnant women.

SueMooreThe conference also heard of the profound impacts of tobacco upon Indigenous communities.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in Indigenous populations, according to the first ever comparative population-based study of cancer incidence in Indigenous people in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.

Led by Australian researcher Dr Suzanne Moore, of the Menzies School of Health Research, it also found that smoking is more common in Indigenous communities in all four countries than in their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Another key message from the conference was the impact of “stop start” government policies and a failure to address the social determinants of health that lead to high smoking rates in Indigenous communities.

Harvard Public Health Professor David Williams, who presented a keynote address on the role of race and racism in health, said one important way to address tobacco-related cancers in Indigenous communities is to “address stressors in smokers that drive them to smoke”.

It was also important to focus on the equity impact of anti-smoking policies, he said, where tobacco taxes have a bigger effect on poorer people.

One media campaign that he said had worked better with minority young people in the United States focused on the deceptive practices of the tobacco industry rather than on the health impacts of smoking.

***

Tackling Indigenous Smoking

Tom CalmaProfessor Tom Calma, Chancellor of the University of Canberra and a founder of the Close the Gap Campaign, is ever optimistic about the success of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking initiative, after the Federal Government last year committed funding and resources to a redesigned program.

He told that conference that the initiative, launched in 2010, has helped to reduce Indigenous smoking rates, that have been falling at a faster rate than was seen in the general population, and he expects the 2016 national census to confirm anecdotal expectations of more success.

Part of its power, he said, is to not focus on the perils of smoking – “that’s known” – but to talk about the benefits of non-smoking – “not blaming, but empowering”.

It’s targeted big sporting activities, like the popular Murri Rugby League carnival, which is smoke and drink free and requires all players to complete a ‘Health Check’ in order to participate, the Nuff of the Puff program aimed at young people, and the successful Break the Chain promotion which is also being used in mainstream campaigns.

But, he said, it had suffered from the “wax and wane” approach of governments – notably from a $30 million a year cut in funding under the Abbott Government and disruption of its work while a review of its operations was carried out by Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash (see more detail in this previous Croakey story).

That had created workforce instability in the Tackling Smoking and Healthy Lifestyle Teams across the country, and disrupted goodwill that had been built up in communities and organisations since 2010.

As a result, he said, Australia is not going to meet its target of halving 2008 Indigenous smoking results by 2008.

“We have to rebuild all that now,” he said.

“If we have consistent government policies instead of the ‘stop start’ (approach) we’ve seen, the vulnerability of funding, and the demoralising of the community….then we will see even faster gains,” he told Croakey.

“When you start to engage with people, they need to know there’s a future. Our people have too often invested a lot of time and effort into initiatives of government, just get excited about it, and then there’s a change of direction, change of Minister, change of government. It’s got to stop.”

There’s hope that the new national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Framework developed by Cancer Australia in partnership with Menzies School of Health Research will help to bring consistency and broader population based approaches.

Calma said it’s an easy-to-read document that is the result of extensive consultation with the Indigenous community, and “that everybody needs to sign up to”.

Prevention is Priority 2 – see the image below.

Cancer Framework smoking

Keep it Sacred

Tobacco has been used by the Navajo, along with most other American Indian nations, for centuries as a medicine with cultural and spiritual importance, said Scott Leischow from the Mayo Clinic in the US.

Traditionally the Navajo healers would go into the mountains and collect what they call ‘mountain smoke’ that grew naturally, to use in their ceremonies. But over the decades, he said, it’s become more common to just go to the local store and buy commercial tobacco instead, helping to further normalise the use of tobacco and continue to grow high rates of smoking.

Leischow told Croakey the Mayo Clinic has been working to support tribal organisations that have started the “Keep it Sacred” movement to reduce commercial tobacco-related illnesses and cancer disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

“So some of the tribal organisations are now working to create a policy within healing communities to only use mountain smoke,” he told Croakey. The Mayo Clinic has helped by making videos where healers talk about the role of commercial tobacco and how it has impacted on traditional ways, which will then be disseminated to schools and communities.

Leischow is also working with tribal organisations that are trying to promote smokefree workplaces and public places. This is a complex and contentious policy area, he said, with many American Indian communities fearful that smoking bans in casinos, which have become an economic lifeline for many, will impact on business.

(Check here to see success stories from Keep it Sacred).

Tradition and innovations

Conference keynote speaker Dr Linda Burhansstipanov, director of the Native American Cancer Research Corporation director, talked about another pilot intervention among around 250 Native Americans living in the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Indian reservations and Rapid City in South Dakota.

One-quarter were cancer survivors, she said, in an area where the majority of people with tobacco-related cancer were back smoking within two years of ceasing treatment.

The project used a combination of motivational support and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

A big feature was that participants were given a mobile phone, so they could receive tailored text messages each day: a traditional Indian quote and/or personal messages such as: “I am quitting smoking so I can watch my granddaughter go through ceremony”.

The cultural and ceremonial use of tobacco was an issue too with the community, although the novelty of the phones was a big one, with many participants having never had one before. In fact, Burhansstipanov said, some non-smokers had gone to the local casino, where smoking is permitted, to try to build up the carbon monoxide levels in their blood so they could qualify for the program. Others built up pretty high phone bills, just calling information lines.

But, she said, “that’s why they call it research” and while results are still unofficial it is showing great promise. Burhansstipanov said the norm for stop smoking interventions was to get a quit attempt rate of about 7 per cent, and up to 12 per cent in very effective interventions.

As of October 2015, she said, 45 per cent of study participants had attempted to quit. They expect a lot of relapses, but also attempts to try again. “The number of times people restart makes it more likely they will quit in future.”

Game time

Burhansstipanov was speaking at an early morning symposium on traditional and innovative arts and media-based research to prevent smoking and cancer.

The forum also heard about the ‘Talking about Smoking’ project among the Yolngu people of East Arnhem Land. You can read more and watch a video about it here.

Researcher Moana Tane said the Yolngu were introduced to tobacco by Macassan traders and “traditional and culural factors have contributed to normalisation of smoking”. Narali (tobacco) is celebrated and viewed as an essential part of culture, although interestingly most in the community are happy to have smoke-free homes.

There was a need to consider “very carefully” how to intervene, not wanting to offend and denigrate a cultural relationship built up over hundreds of years, but also to be confident offering support because it is what the community want.

gameAnd then it was game time. Maori Public Health Professor Marewa Glover explained she wanted to find a way for Aunties to support young pregnant Maori smokers to quit, so she developed a board game to help them deliver essential messages on smoking, nutrition and antenatal care.

Like a Snakes and Ladders game, it’s based, she said, on Robert West’s theory of addiction, where quitting smoking is not a straightforward journey. It has ‘low dice’ cards to connect with low motivation days, and ‘high dice’ cards when smokers are more likely to listen to quit messages. The snakes represent relapse.

“The Aunties were much more interested in playing a game than having me stand and lecture,” she said.

• The feature image is from the Keep it Sacred website.

• Watch Professor Tom Calma talking about the harmful impacts of “stop start” government policies for the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

• Marie McInerney is covering #WICC2016 for the Croakey Conference News Service.  Track the conference coverage here.

NACCHO Smoking News: Plain packaging helping reinforce smoking risks among Aboriginal people

Smoking

Too many of our people smoke and this is causing great harm in our communities,’’

“About 42 people cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are daily smokers – this is about three times the daily smoking rate for all Australian adults.

“Smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia.”

National Coordinator of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program, Professor Tom Calma

Aboriginal people have a greater understanding of the risks of smoking following the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco in Australia, new research shows.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were surveyed before and after the introduction of plain packaging for the study, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

The study found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were less likely to incorrectly believe that “some cigarette brands are more harmful than others” following the introduction of plain packaging.

IMG_0319

 

In addition, fewer younger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (aged 18-29 years) believed that “some cigarette brands are more prestigious than others” following the change.

As a result of new laws introduced on 1 December 2012, all tobacco products sold in Australia must be in plain packaging which does not feature brand imagery, logos or promotional text. The drab, standardised packaging also includes large and graphic health warnings.

National Coordinator of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program, Professor Tom Calma, said the findings showed that plain packaging was achieving its aims in Indigenous populations.

“Too many of our people smoke and this is causing great harm in our communities,’’ Professor Calma said.

“About 42 people cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are daily smokers – this is about three times the daily smoking rate for all Australian adults.

“Smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia.

“This study shows that plain packaging is working among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to reduce the incorrect belief that cigarette brands can vary in the harm they cause.”

Study co-author Dr Sarah Durkin, of Cancer Council Victoria’s Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, said the findings were consistent with research across the Australian population showing that plain packs were diminishing the tobacco industry’s ability to use packs to mislead people about the harms of smoking.

“The findings show that preventing the use of misleading imagery on tobacco products is working in the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations to reduce incorrect beliefs about smoking.”

Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White said the high rate of smoking among Aboriginal people meant they carried a heavier burden of preventable death and disease, compared to the rest of the population.

“Reducing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who smoke is essential to prevent illness including cancer, heart disease and strokes,” Dr White said.

“Plain packaging is part of a comprehensive government strategy to reduce smoking in Australia and stop young people from picking up the habit.”

Professor Calma said the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program was using innovative, culturally appropriate approaches to reduce smoking in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“With strong leadership and a comprehensive health workforce effort in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, we can halve the Indigenous smoking rate over the next decade and give our people the opportunity to live long and healthy lives,’’ he said.

____________________

Contact:  Kate Hagan, Quit Victoria Media Manager, 0438 058 406

For help to quit smoking, contact the Aboriginal Quitline on 13 7848