This indicator reports on the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged 15–17 who have never smoked. The goal for this indicator is 91% by 2023.
Why is it important?
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in Australia. In the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2018, tobacco smoking was estimated to contribute 12% of the disease burden among Indigenous Australians (AIHW 2021).
What data are available?
Data for this indicator were sourced from the ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health surveys and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social surveys.
What do the data show?
There is no new data available since the last update, however the most recent assessment showed that progress towards the goal was on track.
- In 2018–19, the rate of Indigenous Australian youth aged 15–17 who had never smoked was 84.6%, slightly below the trajectory point required to meet the goal (85.6%). However, taking into account sampling error associated with the survey data, the goal can be considered on track.
- The rate increased from 61% in 2002 to 85% in 2018–19.
- 85% of Indigenous Australian youth aged 15–17 reported having never smoked—this was an increase from 78% in 2014–15
- 85% of Indigenous youth aged 15–17 in Non-remote areas had never smoked, compared with 74% in Remote areas
- The proportion of Indigenous Australians aged 15–17 who had never smoked was similar between males (83%) and females (84%).
Figure 10.1: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged 15–17 who reported having never smoked