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Funding announced to reduce Indigenous smoking

Date posted: 30 March 2017

The Australian Government has announced it 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, via the Tackling Indigenous Smoking programme.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, said the Government had approved the continuation of funding to 36 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health 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,' Minister Wyatt said. 'Reducing smoking rates is central to the Government's efforts to close the gap in life expectancy, but requires a consistent, long-term commitment.'

'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,' said the Minister. '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 programme which found that it was operating effectively and using proven approaches to changing smoking behaviour.

Source: Department of Health media releases

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Last updated: 30 March 2017
 
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute