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Cigarettes favoured over fruit in outback

Date posted: 21 November 2016

The government-owned company which manages a network of outback stores says tobacco sales remain high as it seeks to improve Aboriginal health.

Customers of government-supported outback stores spend four times more on cigarettes than they do on fruit and vegetables. The figure was 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.

Chairman Stephen Bradley said in the report 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.

'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,' said the Chairman.

The government is aiming to close the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 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.

Source: SBS News

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Last updated: 21 November 2016
 
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute