This indicator reports on the age-standardised proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 and over who smoke tobacco. The goal for this indicator is 40% 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.
- The age-standardised rate of Indigenous Australians aged 18 and over who reported smoking tobacco in 2018–19 was 43%, which was similar to the trajectory point of 42% required to meet the goal, taking into account sampling error associated with the survey data.
Based on age-standardised rates:
- The proportion decreased between 2002 and 2014–15 (from 49% to 43%).
- The rate remained stable between 2014–15 and 2018–19 at around 43%.
- In 2018–19, the proportion (43.1%) was slightly above the trajectory point required (41.5%). However, taking into account sampling error associated with the survey data, the goal can be considered on track.
In 2018–19, based on age-standardised rates:
- 43% 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 15%, respectively.
- Across all age groups, the proportion of Indigenous adults who were current smokers was higher in Remote than Non-remote areas.
Figure 12.1: Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18 and over who report being current smokers (age-standardised)