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Past quit attempts in a national sample of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, claiming one in every five lives.1 The prevalence of daily smoking in those aged 15 years or older decreased steadily from 49% in 2002 to 42% in 2012–2013.2 While this is due in part to fewer people starting to smoke, it is also due to more people quitting successfully.2

According to the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS), 62% of adult smokers had cut down or stopped smoking in the past year,3 and 45% had attempted to quit.4 This indicates strong motivation to quit. It also suggests quitting activity is similar to that of smokers in the general Australian population, of whom about 40% report having attempted to quit in the previous year.5 However, in the general population, only one in five quit attempts are sustained for 1 month or longer.5,6 Further, predictors of sustaining a quit attempt differ from predictors of making a quit attempt.7

Sex, age, education and income are not consistently associated with making quit attempts in other populations.