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Talking About The Smokes: summary and key findings

Transforming the evidence to guide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tobacco control

The baseline cross-sectional results from the Talking About The Smokes project outlined in this supplement (and summarised in the Box) provide the most detailed national evidence yet to guide practice and policy to reduce the harm caused by tobacco smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The national prevalence of daily smoking in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is falling, but at 42% is still 2.6 times that of other Australians.1 Research evidence to guide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tobacco control has been constrained by the uncertainties of generalising from small local research projects or from the large body of research in other populations. There have been competing hypotheses about whether Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking and quitting behaviour is similar to or different from other populations. These new results suggest many similarities with other populations.

We found the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander daily smokers who want to quit, have made a quit attempt in the past year, live in smoke-free homes and work in smoke-free workplaces is similar to that of the general population. Similar proportions also demonstrate knowledge of the most harmful health effects of smoking and hold negative…