Australia’s first four-year Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) program will provide funding for proven local campaigns and new initiatives to reduce the devastating impacts of tobacco-related disease.
“The sickening fact is that, despite considerable progress in recent years, smoking is still responsible for about one in five preventable deaths in Aboriginal people – that’s approximately 260 premature deaths each year,” Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM said.
“It is also remains the leading cause of preventable disease, accounting for more than 12 per cent of the overall burden of illness in our indigenous communities.”
Minister Wyatt says the $183.7 million Turnbull-government commitment would play a significant role towards reaching the health targets in the upcoming refresh of the Closing the Gap strategy.
“Beginning on July 1, 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,” Mr Wyatt said.
The revamped TIS program will:
Continue the successful Regional Tobacco Control grants scheme, including school and community education, smoke-free homes and workplaces, and quit groups.
Expand programs targeting pregnant women and remote-area smokers.
Enhance the indigenous quitline service.
Support local indigenous leaders and cultural programs to reduce smoking.
Continue evaluation to monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of individual programs, including increased regional data collection.