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Abstract

Objectives: To assess the effect of community tobacco interventions in Aboriginal communities.

Methods: The study consisted of a preand post-study of the effect of a multicomponent tobacco intervention conducted in six Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory (NT). The intervention included sports sponsorship, health promotion campaigns, training health professionals in the delivery of smoking cessation advice, school education about tobacco, and policy on smoke-free public places. The study was conducted in three intervention communities and three matched control communities. Surveys were used to measure changes in prevalence of tobacco use, changes in knowledge, and attitudes to cessation in intervention communities.

Results: Tobacco consumption decreased in one intervention community compared with the matched control community; the trends of consumption (as measured by tobacco ordered through points of sale) in these communities were significantly different (t=-4.5, 95% Cl -33.6 –12.5, pleqslant R: less-than-or-eq, slant 0.01). Community samples in intervention communities included 920 participants. There was no significant change in the prevalence of tobacco use, although knowledge of the health effects of tobacco and readiness to quit increased.

Conclusions: Although it is difficult to demonstrate a reduction in tobacco consumption or in the prevalence of tobacco use as a result of multi-component community tobacco interventions delivered in Aboriginal communities, such interventions can increase awareness of the health effects of tobacco and increase reported readiness to cease tobacco use.