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Personal attitudes towards smoking in a national sample of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers and recent quitters

Contemporary theories of smoking and other addictive behaviours see attitudes as one set of forces influencing behaviour.1,2 Negative attitudes towards smoking, such as those about its high cost or regret about starting to smoke, are associated with increased interest in quitting and attempts to quit,35 but perhaps not with sustained abstinence.6,7 These attitudes compete with the benefits attributed to smoking, which have been shown to predict continued smoking and relapse.810 Identifying attitudes that influence behaviour contributes to our understanding of what motivates and sustains quitting. This may differ between social and cultural environments, affecting which tobacco control policies work to reduce smoking.4,11

There is no nationally representative research that explores attitudes towards smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is plausible that part of the reason for the high daily smoking prevalence, which was over double that of the non-Indigenous population in 2012–2013,