Changes in smoking intensity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 1994–2008

Colin P Mendelsohn and Gillian S Gould
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11693
Published online: 20 May 2013

To the Editor: The recent study by Thomas1 documents the change in smoking intensity of Australian Indigenous people between 1994 and 2008. A significant overall reduction in heavy smoking was observed with a corresponding increase in the proportion of light smoking.

  • 1 Smokers’ Clinic, Brain and Mind Research Institute, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD.
  • 3 School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, NSW.



Gillian Gould holds a postgraduate training scholarship for Indigenous health research from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the National Heart Foundation.

Competing interests:

Colin Mendelsohn has received honoraria for teaching, consulting and travel from Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. He is on Pfizer’s Champix Advisory Board and has served on GlaxoSmithKline’s Nicotine Replacement Therapy Expert Panel.

  • 1. Thomas DP. Changes in smoking intensity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 1994–2008. Med J Aust 2012; 197: 503-506. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Tverdal A, Bjartveit K. Health consequences of reduced daily cigarette consumption. Tob Control 2006; 15: 472-480.
  • 3. Asfar T, Ebbert JO, Klesges RC, Relyea GE. Do smoking reduction interventions promote cessation in smokers not ready to quit? Addict Behav 2011; 36: 764-768.
  • 4. Ivers R. Anti-tobacco programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Canberra: Australian Government, 2011. (AIHW Cat. No. IHW 37.)
  • 5. Gould G, Munn J, Watters T, et al. Knowledge and views about maternal tobacco smoking and barriers for cessation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders: a systematic review and meta-ethnography. Nicotine Tob Res 2013; 15: 863-874.


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