Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoke-free homes, 2002 to 2008

David Thomas, Matthew Stevens

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Objective: To describe the social patterning of and trends in the prevalence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoke-free homes, and the association between these smoke-free homes and smoking initiation, intensity and cessation. 

Analyses of responses to questions about whether any householders usually smoke inside in the 2004 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, and in the comparable National Health Surveys in 2004 and 2007. 

The proportion of Indigenous children living with at least one daily smoker who smokes inside declined significantly from 28.4% in 2004 to 20.8% in 2008, with significant improvements only detected among the most disadvantaged categories of Indigenous children. The proportion of Indigenous daily smokers who lived in multi-person households where no daily smoker householder usually smoked inside increased significantly from 45.0% in 2004 to 56.3% in 2008. The absolute size of these changes was greater among Indigenous children and smokers than among all Australians. More disadvantaged Indigenous children were more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke at home, and more disadvantaged Indigenous smokers were more likely to live in households where smokers usually smoked inside. Indigenous smokers in smoke-free homes smoke significantly less cigarettes. 

Conclusions and Implications:
The increases in Indigenous smoke-free homes are encouraging, especially as they are from the period before recent increased attention to Indigenous tobacco control, which should accelerate these trends and their resultant health benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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