Can doing research be a catalyst for changing tobacco smoking? An example from remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory

Can doing research be a catalyst for changing tobacco smoking? An example from remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory Conference Paper

10th National Rural Health Conference: Rural Health: the place to be...

  • Author(s): Jan Robertson, Alan Clough
  • Published: 2009

Abstract: In the Australian population as a whole there has been long-term trend for reduction in smoking prevalence, which is now less than 20%. Amongst Indigenous Australians generally, 51% of men and 47% of women are daily or regular smokers and these proportions appear to be unchanged since the 1990’s. In studies conducted over almost 20 years, smoking prevalence has been consistently higher in the NT’s ‘Top End’ than in the rest of the Indigenous population with 68%-83% of men and 65%-73% of women using tobacco. Current surveys in the region are finding similar very high rates. In the developed world smoking prevalence has fallen steadily in response to individually-oriented measures along with public education, and supply control. While there is ample evidence for the effectiveness of interventions for reducing the prevalence of smoking in mainstream populations, it is not known whether these interventions can work in Australia’s Indigenous populations. Most of the interventions available and tried in mainstream communities have not been tried or rigorously evaluated in Indigenous communities. This paper uses information and observations about the impacts of the research process on smoking behaviours in an intervention and evaluation study targeting smoking in three remote Indigenous communities in the NT. We believe that the process of doing research itself is a catalyst for changing smoking behaviours.

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Suggested Citation
Jan Robertson, Alan Clough, 2009, Can doing research be a catalyst for changing tobacco smoking? An example from remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, Conference Paper, viewed 15 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3068.

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