From National Cancer Control Policy

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Key messages and recommendations

  • While smoking rates across Australia have declined substantially to around 17.5% of the population, among the most disadvantaged groups they are up to five times higher than the population average.
  • The most disadvantaged groups in Australia bear a disproportionate share of tobacco related harm. Reducing smoking rates in these populations is an important and pressing public health issue[2].
  • Sustained population-wide tobacco control strategies must be supported by specific interventions targeting disadvantaged populations in order to maximise reach and effectiveness among these groups
  • Effective strategies require a combination of applying best current evidence with being open to exploring the effectiveness of new strategies.
  • The development of partnerships between tobacco control public health experts and community-based organisations working with targeted populations will help to develop capacity within these organisations to address specific tobacco related issues, create quit-friendly service environments and integrate attention to smoking into routine practice.
  • Obtaining better data on smoking prevalence trends among disadvantaged groups and monitoring progress in this space are integral to reducing disparities in tobacco use. It is critically important that interventions are underpinned by financial support for evaluation of appropriateness and effectiveness.



  1. Unable to find the reference "DiMartino LD, Weiner BJ, Mayer DK, Jackson"
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Cervical screening in Australia 2011–2012. Canberra: AIHW; 2014. Report No.: Cancer series no.82. Cat. no. CAN 79. Available from:
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Cancer incidence projections: Australia, 2011 to 2020. Cancer Series no. 66. Cat. No. CAN 62. Canberra: AIHW; 2012.