Goal 9: Current smoking—people aged 15–17

This indicator reports on the proportion of Indigenous youth aged 15–17 who smoke tobacco. The goal for this indicator is 9% 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. Taking into account sampling error associated with the survey data, the rate in 2014–15 was similar to the required trajectory point.

In 2014–15:

  • 17% of Indigenous youth aged 15–17 reported being current smokers—this was a decrease from 19% in 2012–13
  • Indigenous males aged 15–17 were more likely than Indigenous females of this age to be current smokers (22% compared with 14%)
  • Indigenous people aged 15–17 were 5 times as likely as non-Indigenous people of this age to be current smokers—17% compared with 3%.