Goal 12: Current smoking—people aged 18 and over

This indicator reports on the age-standardised proportion of Indigenous people aged 18 and over who smoke tobacco. The goal for this indicator is 40% 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. Based on age-standardised rates, the proportion of Indigenous people aged 18 and over who reported smoking tobacco decreased between 2002 and 2014–15 (from 49% to 43%). The rate in 2014–15 was similar to the trajectory point required (both 43%); thus, this goal can be considered on track.

In 2014–15:

  • 45% of Indigenous Australians aged 18 and over reported smoking tobacco
  • among those aged 18 and over, Indigenous Australians were more likely than non-Indigenous Australians to smoke tobacco—age-standardised rates of 43% and 16%, respectively.