Territory Stories






Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory


AMSANT News; E-Journals; PublicationNT; AMSANT News




Date:2008-11; Date of issue: October-November 2008; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.




Aboriginal Australians -- Health and hygiene -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Aboriginal Australians -- Medical care -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory

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AMSANT : Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT



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Australian smoking rates have halved in the last twenty years whilst Indigenous rates have not changed and are at around 50%. Smoking is the biggest single contributor to the life expectancy gap and the Australian Government has committed $14.6 million nationally to Indigenous tobacco control. The Department of Health and Ageing are currently consulting about what is the best way to use these funds. Research experts want the majority of the money to be spent on well evaluated community based projects to guide a future national roll out of Indigenous tobacco expenditure. The National Heart Foundation is also hosting a Northern Territory Tobacco summit in order to draft a NT tobacco control plan. AMSANT will be represented at this summit. Maningrida butt out In the past there has been some pessimism about whether indigenous smoking rates can be reduced. However, the success of a community based and driven smoking project in Maningrida indicates that smoking programs can be successfully implemented when the community identifies smoking control as a priority and when there is long term funding. The program was guided by a group of non smoking elders and employed a public health officer and non smoking local indigenous people to implement the program. Agencies that worked together on the project included Malabam Health Board, the Maningrida Council, Maningrida Community Health Centre, DHF and Menzies. A strong focus of the program was protection of children. The program used a variety of strategies, including smoking cessation advice for individuals, community and school education, implementation of smoke free spaces and compliance with legislative controls about tobacco sales. The program achieved an 8 % drop in tobacco sales. Sadly, the program was stopped prematurely due to lack of security of funding and housing for the public health officer. If you have some ideas about how tobacco control could be improved, please contact Liz Moore at AMSANT (89533551) From left: Chez Garling (DHCS - Alcohol and other drugs), Sandy Djabibba (Tobacco support worker and steering committee member), Marion Scrymgour, (Maningrida MLA and Deputy Chief Minister NT), and Bernie Shields (DHCS - NT Preventable Chronic Disease Program) at a health promotion day in Maningrida. TOBACCO CONTROL IN THE NT OCTOBER ~ NOVEMBER 2008 7 R E A D E R S A R E E N C O U R A G E D T O S E N D T H E I R F E E D B A C K T O b r o n w y n . n e t l u c h @ a m s a n t . o r g . a u