NACCHO Aboriginal Health and the #UluruStatement promoted during #NRW18 and @TheLongWalkOz Thanks to @AMAPresident @EssendonFC @VAHS1972 @quitvic @DeadlyChoices

” What you (Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews ) said about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advancement being led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is absolutely right,

The great Australian Chris Sarra said very wisely … governments have got to stop doing things to Aboriginal people and start doing things with them and that is my commitment.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told a Reconciliation event The Long Walk he is committed to following the lead of Indigenous people, less than a year after rejecting their call for an enshrined voice in parliament.

After Premier Daniel Andrews spoke of his government’s efforts to create a state Treaty at the Long Walk event at Melbourne’s Federation Square, Mr Turnbull said the two leaders were “starting to agree on more things all the time”.

During a summit at Uluru in May 2017, Indigenous leaders rejected symbolic constitutional recognition in favour of an elected parliamentary advisory body and a treaty.

But in October, Mr Turnbull said a new representative body was not desirable or capable of winning acceptance at a referendum

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #treaty : #Uluru Summit calls for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution

Australian Medical Association has thrown its support behind last year’s Uluru Statement from the Heart: It was a fairly clear-cut decision for us to make.

We recognise the issue regarding the will to want to have the right to self-determination. We recognise the health inequities, the social justice inequities, the wellness inequities that confront our Indigenous population.

And this Statement is just another way of trying to ensure that we can continue to work and get all governments, both State, Federal, and Territory, to work towards closing the gap, improving the social determinants of health, and recognising the need and the required improvements that are necessary to address the gap that currently exists.

The ACCHOs, or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, are a very important part of the health delivery process. It recognises that the usual relationships, when it comes to health facilities in a different way, it’s a different connectivity. “

The recently elected Australian Medical Association’s President, Tony Bartone, who participated in the Long Walk spoke with ABC Radio reporter, Dan Conifer . See full interview and AMA press release Part 1 and 2 below

 

 ” Politicians, footballers and campaigners have joined thousands of Australians in the Long Walk event to support moves to improve Indigenous health and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

It has been 14 years since AFL champion Michael Long’s momentous journey from his home in Melbourne to the Prime Minister to get the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people back on the national agenda.

Indigenous health is focal point of this year’s walk, with the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service Australian Medical Association (AMA) and Quit Victoria both throwing their support behind the event.

Ill health forced Essendon great Michael Long to miss this year’s Long Walk.

Part 1 : Australian Medical Association has thrown its support behind last year’s Uluru Statement from the Heart

The AMA Federal Council has endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for a First Nations’ voice in the Australian Constitution.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today that the AMA has for many years supported Indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution, and that the Uluru Statement is another significant step in making that recognition a reality.

“The Uluru Statement expresses the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in regard to self-determination and status in their own country,” Dr Bartone said.

“The AMA is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Closing the gap in health services and outcomes requires a multi-faceted approach.

“Cooperation and unity of purpose from all Australian governments is needed if we are to achieve meaningful and lasting improvements.

“This will involve addressing the social determinants of health – the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age.

“Constitutional recognition can underpin all these endeavours, as we work to improve the physical and mental health of Indigenous Australians.”

Dr Bartone said the AMA was proud to announce its endorsement of the Uluru Statement during National Reconciliation Week.

Part 2 :The recently elected Australian Medical Association’s President, Tony Bartone, who participated in the Long Walk spoke with ABC Radio reporter, Dan Conifer

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Within the next couple of years, your local doctor’s surgery could be adorned with posters supporting Indigenous Constitutional change. The highly influential

Australian Medical Association has thrown its support behind last year’s Uluru Statement from the Heart. The peak body says including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the nation’s founding document could help make Indigenous patients healthier. The AMA’s President Tony Bartone has told our political reporter Dan Conifer the organisation is unequivocal in its support.

TONY BARTONE: It was a fairly clear-cut decision for us to make. We recognise the issue regarding the will to want to have the right to self-determination. We recognise the health inequities, the social justice inequities, the wellness inequities that confront our Indigenous population. And this Statement is just another way of trying to ensure that we can continue to work and get all governments, both State, Federal, and Territory, to work towards closing the gap, improving the social determinants of health, and recognising the need and the required improvements that are necessary to address the gap that currently exists.

DAN CONIFER: Can you just explain for us how something like the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and the changes that it calls for, would support health outcomes, would improve life expectancy and so on?

TONY BARTONE: They’re fairly fundamental aspirations that are part of the Uluru Statement, and those aspirations and recognitions really speak to a number of emotional, physical, and broader social, environmental issues that really will address, as we say, the social determinants of health. We can’t really seek to close the gap when it comes to health outcomes until we address the fundamental building blocks.

DAN CONIFER: Now, one of the key elements of the Uluru Statement is about involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in decision-making processes. In the medical profession, how has involving Indigenous Australians driven improvements?

TONY BARTONE: The ACCHOs, or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, are a very important part of the health delivery process. It recognises that the usual relationships, when it comes to health facilities in a different way, it’s a different connectivity. Put another way, it recognises the inherent qualities and behavioural patterns of our Indigenous population, and that is different from a traditional Western-type setting which we’ve become experienced with.

DAN CONIFER: And if a referendum were to be held on any of the elements of the Uluru Statement, how would the AMA, individual doctors and specialists around the country, take part or be involved in that campaign?

TONY BARTONE: We would use all avenues open to us, both in terms of our advocacy and communication with our members, to ensure that the information and the sharing of that information, in terms of the wider community, patients who come to our surgery, the access points that we do have, are used to the fullest in terms of ensuring a proper address of the Statement’s initiatives.

DAN CONIFER: So we could see Vote Yes posters or pamphlets or badges in GP surgeries when this, or if this comes to a vote?

TONY BARTONE: What we’d see is the Association taking a front foot in our communication and advocacy on behalf of members. Of course, each individual member is free and would be wanting to participate to perhaps even a fuller extent, which would lead to putting up of posters and sharing that material in a surgery environment. But we would take a front foot more at an Association level to ensure that we communicate with our stakeholders, with our leaders in Parliament, and with the community in general through our media connectivity to communicate that wish and desire.

Part 3 The Long Walk ,VAHS and Quit Victoria promotes Indigenous health

Smoking rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are almost three times the national average of non-Indigenous people, although the prevalence in Indigenous communities is falling steadily.

In Victoria, 41 per cent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population are smokers.

Quit Victoria’s Aboriginal Tobacco Control Program Coordinator Jethro Pumirri Calma-Holt told SBS News the health of Indigenous Australians should be kept at the top of the agenda.

“Indigenous health is something that needs to be invested in by everyone and that’s part of national reconciliation week.”

“What Michael Long did all those years ago has created a really big legacy for everyone to follow in his footsteps,” he said

Check it out the legend himself Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti wearing the VAHS Deadly Choices Shirt out during the warm up for Dream Time at the G. The other players also wore the shirts as well… What a moment !

If you want your very own VAHS Deadly Choices Shirt just like Tippa the only way you can get one is to complete a health check at VAHS. So call us and book your health check on 03 9419 3000

 

 

 

NACCHO Aboriginal Health #ACCHO Deadly good news stories : @EssendonFC and @TheLongWalkOz partners with Victorian Aboriginal Health Services (VAHS) to promote @DeadlyChoices #Indigenous preventative health campaign #NT #TAS #ACT #SA #NSW #QLD #WA #VIC

1.VIC : Essendon Football Club and The Long Walk partners with Victorian Aboriginal Health Services (VAHS) to promote Deadly Choices

2.NSW :Awabakal opened a new Community Clinic to mark National Close the Gap Day

3.WA : The AHCWA team took action to raise awareness of National Close the Gap Day 2018!

4.NT : Mobile health lab expands educational offering through Heart Foundation partnership

5.ACT : Winnunga ACCHO Download monthly News from CEO Julie Tongs

6.QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Closing the Gap on health inequality for Indigenous mothers and babies in Cape York

7. Tas: TAC : The Tasmanian Aboriginal community gathered in the North-West last weekend for an annual celebration of Aboriginal culture, heritage and land ownership.

8.SA  : SA’s biggest Closing the Gap Day

 View hundreds of ACCHO Deadly Good News Stories over past 6 years

How to submit a NACCHO Affiliate  or Members Good News Story ?

Our next Deadly News Post is January 25

 Email to Colin Cowell NACCHO Media    

Mobile 0401 331 251

Wednesday by 4.30 pm for publication each Thursday

 

1.VIC : Essendon Football Club and The Long Walk partners with Victorian Aboriginal Health Services (VAHS) to promote Deadly Choices

“We’re proud and pleased to partner with another urban Community Controlled Health Service (VAHS) to deliver Deadly Choices to their communities. Programs like Deadly Choices demonstrate that the solution to improving Indigenous health and well-being is within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,”

CEO of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, Adrian Carson, is excited to see Essendon and VAHS rolling out Deadly Choices in their region.

Essendon Football Club and The Long Walk are proud to announce they have partnered with Victorian Aboriginal Health Services (VAHS) to promote the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander preventative health campaign, Deadly Choices.

Watch Launch video HERE

A social marketing campaign developed by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), Deadly Choices aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, with a specific focus on:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising daily
  • Accessing their local Community-Controlled Health Service for an annual ‘Health Check’

The Club will work closely with VAHS and IUIH in order to encourage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make Deadly Choices.

General Manager of The Long Walk and Indigenous Affairs, Leanne Brooke, said Essendon is the first AFL Club in Victoria to get behind Deadly Choices.

“Essendon and The Long Walk are proud to support Deadly Choices, and we look forward to working closely with VAHS and IUIH to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Brooke said.

“Essendon’s strong following, and our long and proud connection to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, will not only help us promote the importance of making Deadly Choices in the North of Melbourne but right across Australia.

“Partnering with VAHS using the Deadly Choices preventative health campaign reinforces Essendon and The Long Walk’s ongoing commitment to celebrating, educating and empowering Australia’s first nation’s people.”

As part of the new partnership, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Joe Daniher and Michael Hurley were unveiled as the Club’s Deadly Choices Ambassadors.

Today the trio joined their teammates in showing off the new Essendon themed Deadly Choices t-shirts, which participants receive after having an annual health check.

CEO of VAHS, Michael Graham, said the new partnership would raise vital awareness about the importance of good health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“For VAHS, Deadly Choices as a marketing tool is a ‘game- changer’ for the long term health and well-being of our people,” Mr Graham said.

“When we get on the front foot and have people informed about their health status and support them to take control with Deadly Choices, then we are heading in the right direction.”

CEO of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, Adrian Carson, is excited to see Essendon and VAHS rolling out Deadly Choices in their region.

“We’re proud and pleased to partner with another urban Community Controlled Health Service (VAHS) to deliver Deadly Choices to their communities. Programs like Deadly Choices demonstrate that the solution to improving Indigenous health and well-being is within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Carson said.

“Essendon players will promote the preventative health messaging that will attract even more clients to VAHS health clinics, to make their health a priority.”

To learn more about Deadly Choices, click here.

To find out where your nearest VAHS clinic is, click here.

2.NSW :Awabakal opened a new Community Clinic to mark National Close the Gap Day

On Thursday 15 March, Aboriginal organisation Awabakal opened a new Community Clinic in Raymond Terrace to mark National Close the Gap Day.

This new Clinic will be the start of an expansion for Awabakal as they work to meet the region’s demand for Aboriginal health and community services and to assist in addressing the serious issue of the disparity in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. In addition to the new Raymond Terrace site, another Clinic will open in Cardiff in April and there are plans to service an additional two communities with their mobile outreach clinics.

Awabakal’s Chief Executive Officer, Raylene Gordon is proud of the organisation’s growth and the support they have had from the community.

“It’s wonderful to see our community growing as people engage with our services. To now have the opportunity to take these services to a wider territory takes us a step closer to closing the gap,” says Raylene.

=“We are always aiming to lead the way in delivering culturally appropriate health and wellbeing services to our people. The Raymond Terrace site is exciting because it is a partnership with a local Aboriginal organisation, Wahroonga.

Awabakal’s new Clinic will operate to provide additional access to services already delivered by Awabakal Medical Service in Hamilton which currently provides primary health care, advocacy, social and emotional support to Aboriginal families in the Newcastle area.

In additional to growing their geographical reach, Awabakal has also recently expanded their services by becoming a registered provider of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). They are also currently in the process of developing new Youth programs to continue to work towards closing the gap in life expectancy by providing better services and opportunities for Aboriginal people from a young age.

With more than 40 years behind them as an Aboriginal managed not-for-profit organisation, Awabakal continues to set the standard for Indigenous health services that both honour the Aboriginal culture whilst opening the possibilities for greater equality in the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

Visit www.awabakal.org for more information about Awabakal’s services

3.WA : The AHCWA team took action to raise awareness of National Close the Gap Day 2018!


The Close the Gap campaign calls on governments to take real, measurable action to achieve Indigenous health equality by 2030

4.NT : Mobile health lab expands educational offering through Heart Foundation partnership

Download the HealthLAB app

Click here to download the HealthLAB app for Apple devices

People living in remote Northern Territory communities will benefit from an expanded health education offering through a partnership between Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) and the Heart Foundation.

 This year, Menzies’ mobile health laboratory HealthLAB will be delivering the Heart Foundation’s LiveLighter program to five remote communities in the Top End and three communities in Central Australia.

 Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan, HealthLAB director, said the team was excited to show people living in remote Australia ways to lower their risk of developing chronic diseases by delivering hands-on health promotion.

“LiveLighter is a fantastic public education campaign. It aligns with the aims of HealthLAB, which is promoting positive health behaviours and empowering people to reduce the risks of developing health issues later in life for themselves and future generations,” Assoc Prof Smith-Vaughan said.

 The LiveLighter program aims to encourage Australian adults to lead healthier lifestyles by making simple changes to what they eat and drink, and by being more active.

 HealthLAB uses the latest health technology to measure participants’ health and inform them about the impacts of smoking, alcohol misuse and diet, which can increase the risk of long-term diseases such as diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, obesity and heart disease.

 HealthLAB stations are operated by dieticians, sonographers, clinical professionals and scientists who provide education and measure physical health through body impedance, blood pressure, carbon dioxide analyser, and upper body strength, among others.

 Heart Foundation Northern Territory CEO, Simon Dixon, said the Heart Foundation was delighted to be partnering with Menzies to deliver HealthLAB to communities in the Territory.

“Healthy lifestyles lead to healthy hearts,” said Mr Dixon.

“The LiveLighter program has successfully educated thousands of Australians about the importance of healthy nutrition and activity,” he said.

 “Now with the involvement of HealthLAB we will be able to spread this message to a really important audience in remote communities as well.”

The first HealthLAB and LiveLighter program was delivered in Maningrida on Close the Gap Day, Thursday, 15 March 2018. The team also set up at the Tiwi Islands AFL Grand Final on Sunday, 18 March 2018.

For more information about HealthLAB, visit www.menzies.edu.au/HealthLAB

5.ACT : Winnunga ACCHO Download monthly News from CEO Julie Tongs

I was very pleased, in late February to again welcome Minister for Health Ms Meegan Fitzharris and Minister for Community Services Ms Rachel Stephen-Smith to Winnunga AHCS. I am genuinely grateful for the interest which both Ministers are showing in Winnunga AHCS and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Download March News HERE

Winnunga AHCS Newsletter March 2018

The primary purpose of the meeting was to update the Ministers on initial concept and design work which Winnunga AHCS has commissioned Judd Consulting to undertake in respect of the proposed new health and community services facility. A number of issues were covered during the discussion on plans for the new building. These included issues such as timing, project management, funding model, lease arrangements, ownership, design, construction and parking.

This is an incredibly exciting and important project for Winnunga AHCS and all of its clients and I am grateful for the collaborative approach which Minister Fitzharris, in particular, has adopted.

At the meeting with the Ministers we also discussed the plan announced recently by the Government to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre of Excellence in Health at the Canberra Hospital. I expressed some surprise that neither the reason nor rationale for the creation of the Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health had been conveyed to either me or anyone at Winnunga AHCS. I explained it was not clear what role the Centre would play and how it would relate to Winnunga AHCS – the first choice for health care for the majority of Canberra’s Aboriginal community. The Minister advised that while she had understood that Winnunga AHCS had been consulted about the proposal she was most concerned that that was not the case. I await with interest an explanation of what it is that the proposed Centre will do.

I also discussed with the Ministers my concerns about the continuing delay in finalising the tender process for the return of Boomanulla Oval to Aboriginal control and management.

The meeting with Ms Fitzharris and Ms Stephen-Smith was open and constructive and I look forward to their continued interest in, and support of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

6.QLD : Apunipima ACCHO Closing the Gap on health inequality for Indigenous mothers and babies in Cape York

Apunipima Cape York Health Council announces a new project to address the health inequality of Indigenous mothers and babies in Cape York.

Families in remote Cape York communities will benefit from a new project being undertaken by Apunipima Cape York Health Council to improve nutrition before, during and after pregnancy.

Apunipima has been awarded funding from Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) to deliver the Optimal Infant Nutrition for Cape York Mums Project.

The project will build upon Apunipima’s award-winning Baby One Program and further develop a suite of tools, workshops and activities around nutrition for mothers and infants to improve long-term health and wellness outcomes.

Population Health and Research Team Leader Melinda Hammond said it is well known that underlying poor nutrition is a major contributing factor to the higher burden of disease experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people compared with other Australians.

“We know that improving health and life expectancy starts early in life. The healthier a pregnancy is, the healthier the child will be and the better they will learn and grow.” said Ms Hammond.

NQPHN Chief Executive Officer John Gregg said improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by closing the gap is a priority area of NQPHN.

“This partnership with Apunipima will assist in education for families that may otherwise be out of reach for many within Cape York communities.

“We are proud to be a part of this program, as we continuously work towards helping northern Queenslanders to live happier, healthier, and longer lives.”

Aboriginal women have an increased risk of having low birthweight babies and complications of anaemia, poor nutrition and there are high rates of smoking and chronic disease during pregnancy. This increasing risk of adverse health outcomes for the mother and baby. Poor nutrition before, during and after pregnancy and during the first few years of life can result in chronic disease later in life. Preventing this starts with healthy mothers, babies and children.

The project will be run over the next two years and will initially focus on two Cape York communities. Apunipima will be working in partnership with researchers at James Cook University, Monash University and Menzies School of Health Research to ensure robust evaluation of all the project activities is shared widely.

The three-day camping event was held at Preminghana, a property north of Arthur River that was handed back to the Aboriginal community in 1995.

Scott Wells of Wynyard entertains campers with music. Picture: Supplied

CEREMONY: Brenton Brown of Burnie does a Cleansing Dance while Launceston boys Calvin Riley and J’Kobi Hughes beat clap sticks. Picture: Supplied

TAC North-West regional manager Lisa Coulson said there was “a real sense of community and cultural connectedness” among the 170 people who attended.

Ms Coulson said the camp also provided a chance for family and friends to catch up.

“It was a great opportunity to get kids and their families out of the cities and into their natural environment on their land,” she said.

The TAC also ran workshops on protective behaviours and strategies to keep young people safe, updated the community about land management efforts at Preminghana and had experts on nutrition and quitting smoking on hand.

The annual camp was started in 1991 and moved to Preminghana in 1995.

Aboriginal community members from around Tasmania enjoy cultural activities at the preminghana Camp.

 8.SA  : SA’s biggest Closing the Gap Day 
11am – 3pm
Thursday 22 March 2018
Adelaide Showground, Ridley CentreJoin us for SA’s biggest Closing the Gap Day at the Adelaide Showground.
Closing the Gap Day is a FREE all-ages event which aims to bring together people from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to share information and take meaningful action in support of achieving Indigenous health equality by 2030.FEATURING MUSIC BY NANCY BATES & ELLIE LOVE GROVE
MC SHELLEY WARE | COMEDIAN JOSHUA WARRIOR
DELICIOUS LUNCH | FREE HEALTH CHECKS | HENNA TATTOOS | NGANGKARI TRADITIONAL HEALERS | SA METROPOLITAN FIRE SERVICE TRUCKS | REPTILE ZOO | JUMPING CASTLE & MANY MORE FUN ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS See More
8.2

 

NACCHO World No Tobacco Day: Nash makes major changes to Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programme

 

 

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“Tobacco smoking is the most preventable cause of ill health and early death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,”
“Forty-four per cent of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over smoke; more than double the smoking rate of the general population and causes one in five Indigenous deaths. A more results focussed programme will help us reduce indigenous smoking rates.”

Minister  Fiona Nash said.

Smoking is particularly an issue for specific groups, with 42 per cent of indigenous Australian adults now daily smokers

World No Tobacco Day reports (see below)

“We know that when provided appropriately targeted information and encouraged to lead the solutions, Indigenous people are responding in an overwhelmingly positive manner.  

But, while the decline of smoking is encouraging, we need to be sure we don’t become complacent.  

The challenge to reduce smoking or not take it up is immense and will require a sustained and well-funded effort to really make a difference for our people and close the healthy inequality gap

The key message from Tom Calma National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking

Photos above and below : The successful Programme run by the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) Melbourne

The Coalition Government’s redesigned Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programme will further reduce smoking in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Applications from organisations who worked under the previous programme are currently being sought for the new, results based programme. Organisations who are currently funded will have funding extended during the Approach to Market process.

 

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The redesigned programme follows a University of Canberra review of the old programme. The new programme was based on the review and on discussion with experts on tobacco control in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash said the redesigned programme focuses on results.

nash_portrait

“Tobacco smoking is the most preventable cause of ill health and early death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Minister Nash said.

“Forty-four per cent of Indigenous Australians aged 15 years and over smoke; more than double the smoking rate of the general population and causes one in five Indigenous deaths.

“A more results focussed programme will help us reduce indigenous smoking rates.”

The new programme will build on the existing regional approach. Grant funding will be provided for regional activities that will reduce the number of people taking up smoking and encourage and support people to quit.

Grant funding will be provided for regional tobacco control activities, national support for workforce development, performance monitoring and evaluation, and leadership and coordination.

The redesigned programme will include a strong focus on accountability for delivering improvements in these areas.

Because local knowledge is always best, service providers will make decisions on how they tackle smoking in their region. New intensive tobacco control approaches will also be trialled through a number of pilot projects in communities with very high rates of smoking.

Funding will continue for enhancements to quit lines and training for frontline health and community workers who help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers.

worldnotobaccoday

WORLD No Tobacco Day is broadening its focus beyond health issues as Australian smoking rates reach their lowest recorded level. (From AAP) 

31 May marking of World No Tobacco Day, organised by the World Health Organisation and its partners, is also calling on countries to work together to end the illicit trade of tobacco products.

The illicit tobacco market may supply as many as one in 10 cigarettes consumed globally, studies suggest, and is a concern not just from a health view as it allows criminal groups to amass great wealth to finance other activities.

Smoking continues to be Australia’s single largest preventable cause of premature death and disease, says Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash. This is though daily smoking rates are the lowest ever – at 12.8 per cent for people 14 years or older, down from 17.5 per cent in 2004.

Smoking is particularly an issue for specific groups, with 42 per cent of indigenous Australian adults now daily smokers

. TOBACCO FACTS FROM WHO – Nearly six million people die each year from smoking – More than 600,000 of these are non-smokers breathing second-hand smoke – Fatality rate will grow to eight million people a year by 2030 without action – More than 80 per cent of these deaths will be among people in low- to middle-income countries

FIRST job, first love and first cigarette — while smoking rates have plunged across the state, new figures show young people are still choosing to light up.

Experts claim plain packaging, smoking bans and price increases are having a major impact, but more needs to be done to stop ­tobacco companies encouraging younger generations to start a habit.

The NSW government will today release a NSW Health population survey which reveals smoking rates have stabilised after a dramatic decline over 12 years.

The report, to be released on World No Tobacco Day, comes ahead of the ­implementation of the latest phase of the state’s smoking bans with restrictions on outdoor dining from July 6.

The figures show about one in six people in NSW were smoking last year compared with one in five in 2002.

Across the age groups, girls aged 16 to 24 years represented the biggest group of smokers and young men aged 25-34.

Smoking rates dropped in both groups from 26.8 per cent of the population in 2002 down to 16.4 per cent in 2012 before rising slightly over the past two years to 18.6 per cent.

Current smoking age by sex in NSW

AGE MALE FEMALE

16-24: 21%,16.1%

25-34: 27.7%, 14.4%

35-44: 22.6%, 13.5%

45-54 19.4%, 12.1%

55-64: 16.6%, 13.9%

65-74 8.8%, 9.4%

75+: 3.9%, 2%

All ages: 18.9%, 12.3%

Source: NSW Ministry of Health

The next biggest groups of smokers were females aged 55 to 64 years, while among men those still lighting up were aged 35 to 44 years.

Smokers tended to live in far western and south-western Sydney, with residents in the northern suburbs the least likely to have a habit.

Sydney University School of Public Health research fellow Dr Becky Freeman said most smokers tended to be young as it was historically part of the rite of passage from teenager to adulthood.

Further efforts needed to be focused on younger people who remained the key focus of clever tobacco company campaigns, she said.

Dr Freeman highlighted the Peter Stuyvesant + Loosie product, which offered the “gimmick” of an extra cigarette in its pack of 20, which appealed to cash-poor teens.

“We know plain packaging, smoking bans and price increases are working, but ­tobacco companies are still recruiting marketing people, they are still offering retailers inducements to carry their products, and they are coming up with products attractive to young people such as the Loosie,” she said.

Dr Freeman said measures to stop young people from taking up smoking could ­include regulating how many cigarette vendors there were in a suburb in the same way bottle shops were controlled.

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said bans ­restricting smoking from within four metres of a pedestrian entry or exit from a hospitality venue were ­expected to be embraced by the community.

Smokers disobeying the “four metre law” will face ­on-the-spot fines of $300, with $5500 for business owners.

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