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New article reveals decline in Indigenous 'heavy' smokers from 1994-2008

Date posted: 6 November 2012

According to a recently released article published in the Medical Journal of Australia, the number of Indigenous 'heavy' smokers has fallen significantly.

Results from Changes in smoking intensity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 1994-2008, authored by Associate Professor David Thomas from Menzies School of Health Research, indicate that while the number of 'heavy' smokers has gone down, the number of 'light' smokers has risen.

The results come from analysis of the data from the 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey and the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey. 'Heavy' smokers were recorded as having more than 20 cigarettes a day, while 'light' smokers had 1-10 cigarettes a day.

The number of heavy Indigenous smokers declined from 17.3% in 1994 to 9.4% in 2008 - a relative 45% reduction. Assoc. Prof Thomas said the findings would encourage those working on national tobacco control programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

'Indigenous tobacco control programs should make sure they include activities that focus on second-hand smoke and smoke-free policies which are likely to be effective with light smokers who may not even think of themselves as smokers,' he said.

Source: Menzies School of Health Research


Media contact:
Richmond Hodgson
Menzies School of Health Research
Ph: (08) 8922 8598
Mobile: 0447 275 415


Last updated: 6 November 2012
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