Goal 10: Never smoked—people aged 15–17

This indicator reports on the proportion of Indigenous youth aged 15–17 who have never smoked. The goal for this indicator is 91% by 2023.

Why is it important?

The health impact of smoking is evident in the high rates of hospitalisation and deaths from tobacco-related conditions. Tobacco is one of the leading contributors to the burden of disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011, tobacco was estimated to contribute 12% of the burden and 23% of the gap in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (AIHW 2016).

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?

Progress towards the goal is on track. In 2014–15, the rate of Indigenous people aged 15–17 who had never smoked (78%) was below the trajectory point required to meet the goal (80%). However, taking into account sampling error associated with the survey data, the goal can be considered on track. 

In 2014–15:

  • 78% of Indigenous people aged 15–17 reported having never smoked
  • 81% of Indigenous youth aged 15–17 in non-remote areas had never smoked, compared with 64% in remote areas
  • Indigenous people aged 15–17 were less likely to have never smoked than non-Indigenous people of this age—78% compared with 95%.