13 May 2015

NSW Health and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) today launched a new framework that aims to reduce smoking rates in Aboriginal communities across NSW.

The ATRAC Framework: A Strategic Framework for Aboriginal Tobacco Resistance and Control in NSW, launched at the Aboriginal Health College of NSW, is a best practice guide for health service providers that develop and deliver services to reduce smoking rates among Aboriginal people.

NSW Health Executive Director of the Centre for Population Health, Dr Jo Mitchell, said tackling high smoking rates among Aboriginal people was a key priority for NSW Health.

“Smoking rates among Aboriginal people in NSW are unacceptably high, reaching 36.8 per cent in 2013, which is more than double the smoking rate of the general population,” Dr Mitchell said.

“This Framework will encourage best practice approaches to tobacco control in Aboriginal communities with the aim of lowering rates of smoking and associated chronic disease.

“It aims to achieve this by building strength and capacity across government, health service providers and community organisations to deliver culturally appropriate tobacco control programs and services.”

Chief Executive of the AH&MRC, Ms Sandra Bailey, said smoking was a leading preventable cause of poor health and early death among Aboriginal people.

“With one in five Aboriginal people dying from tobacco related illnesses we need to work hard to reduce smoking rates,” Ms Bailey said.

“This Framework will help health professionals deliver culturally relevant programs to the community. The development of the Framework has been a joint effort, and we look forward to working together to reduce the number of smokers and people affected by second-hand smoke.”

The objectives of the Framework are to:

  • increase the number of Aboriginal people who quit smoking
  • increase the number of smoke-free homes and workplaces
  • shift Aboriginal community attitudes away from smoking being the norm
  • prevent the uptake of smoking, particularly by young Aboriginal people.

For more information see the ATRAC Framework on the NSW Health .