Australia - Smoking 'biggest factor' in Aboriginal deaths..

September 11, 2009 - Smoking is the single biggest factor responsible for the gap between the health of ***Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, says a Northern Territory expert on preventable chronic diseases. IMAGE: Aboriginal hollow log tomb..

Dr David Thomas from the Darwin-based Menzies School of Health Research is a keynote speaker at a national conference on chronic diseases in Darwin today. Thomas says one in five Aboriginal deaths in Australia is linked to smoking. "Smoking is the biggest single risk factor for Indigenous disease, for Indigenous deaths and for the gap between Indigenous and other Australians." (Click on Dr. Thomas' image for more information about his work..)

Dr. Thomas welcomes a planned ban on smoking in Territory pubs and clubs from January next year, but he says more can be done. "Smoke free pubs and clubs is one."
"But smoke free cars, cars carrying children is another.

"Reducing the promotion of cigarettes by those sort of big lolly walls behind the cash register every time you go into a supermarket is another."

ASH 7/28/2009: Adult smoking rate among Australia's indigenous population is still around 50% - it hasn't fallen in ten years and is still double the national rate. Latest figures and comparisons with non-indigenous rates are shown in the Australian Bureau of Statistics' latest national survey of Tobacco Smoking in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population 2004-05. Report..

*** - The term "Aboriginal" has traditionally been applied to indigenous inhabitants (original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands),of mainland Australia, Tasmania, and some of the other adjacent islands. (Indigenous AustraliansFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Reference: Smoking 'biggest factor' in Aboriginal deaths by Cathy Harper, ABC News (Australia), 9/10/2009.