Grant to tackle smoking rates among Aboriginal communities in NSW


Australian Respiratory Council grants $490,000 to the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council to undertake important research project

Australia is considered to be a leader among developed nations around the world in the area of tobacco control and yet tobacco is the main cause of preventable death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Over 50% of Aboriginal people aged 13 and over smoke compared with 21% of the general population nationally. While smoking rates have decreased for the total Australian population over the last 10 years, there has been a very limited investment in Aboriginal tobacco control and smoking cessation activities, and no significant change in smoking rates for Aboriginal people, in this period.

The Australian Respiratory Council (ARC) is committed to contributing to improved respiratory health outcomes for Aboriginal people and is delighted to have provided The Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of New South Wales (AH&MRC) with funding to support a much needed two year project to develop a smoking cessation program based at Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in NSW. “ARC received a large number of applications in response to a request for expressions of interest. The AH&MRC’s application was outstanding and we look forward to supporting a project that will contribute to a reduction of tobacco related respiratory sickness and death while utilising innovative and culturally appropriate mechanisms to promote and sustain the quit smoking messages within Aboriginal communities” said Bruce Ramage, ARC Executive Officer.

According to Sandra Bailey, Chief Executive Officer of the AH&MRC, “this project will trial the impact of employing and supporting specialist Tobacco Control Workers within Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, to implement innovative community-based approaches to tobacco control and smoking cessation in Aboriginal Communities in NSW. Importantly, while aiming to reduce smoking rates and smoking related disease in Aboriginal communities, the project will also add to the evidence-base relating to Aboriginal tobacco control nationally and internationally”. The project will be implemented by the AH&MRC in partnership with 12 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, the NSW Department of Health, the National Heart Foundation, the Sax Institute and the Cancer Council of NSW.

The project will be launched at ARC’s offices in Sydney on 29 August 2007.


Renee Martin – ARC – (02) 9223 3199

Jenny Hunt – AH&MRC – (02) 9212 4777

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Aug. 31, 2007

 Tags: news

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