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$116 million anti-smoking campaign key to helping Close the Gap

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The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP

Minister for Aged Care Minister for Indigenous Health Member for Hasluck


18 July 2017

$116 million anti-smoking campaign key to helping Close the Gap

Turnbull Government initiatives are helping prevent Indigenous people from taking up smoking and to encourage existing smokers to quit

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM said the findings from a new report released today on the preliminary evaluation of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program were encouraging.

“The report found the program is operating effectively, using proven approaches to change smoking behaviours, and delivering evidence-based local tobacco health promotion activities. I am pleased the report recommends it continues,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Smoking is the most preventable cause of disease and early death among Aboriginal people and accounts for almost one-quarter of the difference in average health outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.

“The program provides grants in 37 urban, rural, regional and remote areas to assist local communities to develop localised anti-smoking campaigns and offer intervention training for frontline community and health workers.”

Reducing smoking rates is central to efforts to Close the Gap in life expectancy, with the Turnbull Government investing $116.8 million over three years (2015-16 to 2017-18) for the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.

The Preliminary Evaluation is available at More information on the program and local campaigns is available on the Department of Health website.

Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449