Australia - anti-smoking campaign targets indigenous people..

March 10, 2010 - The Australian Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, today announced 14 sites across the country (see reference for specific sites) will benefit from a $10.7 million funding round to promote innovative anti-tobacco campaigns and prevention strategies.

The Australian Government’s Indigenous (originating and living or occurring naturally in an area or environment) Tobacco Control Initiative aims to reduce smoking rates among Aboriginal (having existed in a region from the beginning) and Torres Strait Islander communities in urban, regional and remote areas. (Australia - heavy tobacco use killing Aborigines..; Australia - Smoking 'biggest factor' in Aboriginal deaths...)

Snowdon: “These projects are based on innovative and cultural-appropriate, community-based approaches. They are also in areas which have higher than average smoking rates.” “The initiatives range from starting up a Quit CafĂ©, establishing support groups for new parents, promoting role models, to offering counselling to get their message across.

“They tackle a variety of Indigenous groups. Teenagers, pregnant women, families and homeless people are among the target audiences,” Mr Snowdon said.

“A number of respected organisations have been chosen including the Asthma Foundation of WA, the Cancer Council of Queensland, the Bila Muuji Regional Aboriginal Health Service in New South Wales and the Menzies School of Health Research in the Northern Territory.”

The Minister made the announcement at the Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation in Katherine, south of Darwin, which received $1m in funding to promote smoke free messages.

The Indigenous Tobacco Control Initiative was launched in March 2008 with a commitment of $14.5 million over three years. Funding of $3.8 million was provided for six projects in 2008-09. The initiative is paving the way for a comprehensive national approach to tackling the issue through the Australian Government’s $100.6 million Tackling Smoking measure under COAG’s National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes. (COAG = Council of Australian Governments)

Reference: $10.7 Million to Combat Indigenous Smoking, Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, Australian Government, 3/5/2010.

Click on top image to enlarge, National Close the Gap Day will be held on March 25, 2010.