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Funding extension for the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program

Date posted: 12 February 2018

The Australian Government has announced it will provide additional funding to the Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) program. The additional funding will provide certainty and continuity for proven local campaigns and new initiatives to reduce the impact of tobacco-related disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

'Beginning on 1 July, extending the TIS program from three to four years will help secure multiple local programs for the longer term, plus identify and support expansion of new approaches in priority areas,' said Indigenous Health Minister, Ken Wyatt AM.

'The sickening fact is that, despite considerable progress in recent years, smoking is still responsible for around one in five preventable deaths in Aboriginal people. That is approximately 260 premature deaths each year,' said Minister Wyatt. 'It also remains the leading cause of preventable disease, accounting for more than 12% of the overall burden of illness in our Indigenous communities.'

The revamped TIS program will:

Minister Wyatt said the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics report on Indigenous smoking showed significant declines in overall rates, with an average 2.1 percent annual drop since targeted interventions began in 2008. 'It is particularly encouraging to see the greatest reductions have been among younger people,' Minister Wyatt said.

However Minister Wyatt noted that there were still some areas where the rate of smoking is still very high. 'Of special concern are continuing high levels of smoking in remote communities,' he said. 'The four-year funding will include targeted support for locally driven quit programs in these areas.'

Source: Department of Health, Sydney Morning Herald


Last updated: 12 February 2018
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