Lessons for Aboriginal tobacco control in remote communities: an evaluation of the Northern Territory ‘Tobacco Project’
Article first published online: 9 FEB 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 34, Issue 1, pages 45–49, February 2010
How to Cite
Thomas, D., Johnston, V. and Fitz, J. (2010), Lessons for Aboriginal tobacco control in remote communities: an evaluation of the Northern Territory ‘Tobacco Project’. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34: 45–49. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2010.00472.x
- Issue published online: 9 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 9 FEB 2010
- Submitted: December 2008 Revision requested: April 2009 Accepted: August 2009
Objective: To evaluate a Northern Territory (NT) government-led pilot ‘Tobacco Project’ in six remote communities.
Methods: Monthly surveys of staff, semi-structured interviews with staff and community members, observation of the delivery of tobacco control interventions, review of Project documents, and monitoring of tobacco consumption using sales (or wholesale orders) of tobacco.
Results: There was a substantive amount of tobacco control activity delivered in three of the Project communities. In two of these locations, the majority of work was primarily driven and undertaken by resident staff. Overall, most of the Project's efforts related to community education and awareness-raising. There was variable impact of the Project on tobacco consumption across the six communities. More tobacco control activity was consistently associated with a greater reduction in tobacco consumption. An important predictor of local activity was the presence of strong community drivers. A significant obstacle to the Project was the lack of new resources.
Conclusions: Despite the minimal impact of this Project on tobacco consumption overall, there was a consistent association between on-the-ground tobacco control activity and reductions in tobacco consumption.
Implications: New initiatives will not only need to provide new funding, but identify and then support local staff, who are central to improving local tobacco control activity and so reducing smoking and smoking-related illnesses and deaths.