Some of the information in this chapter also appears elsewhere in this publication, but because of specific interest in matters relating to tobacco use among Australia's Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders, material on the subject has been collected in one place to aid quick reference. Readers seeking broader discussion should also refer to other chapters.
It is recognised that the preferred term for Australia's Indigenous peoples is Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders, and where practical, this title has been used throughout this chapter. The term Indigenous is also used throughout, generally with the intention of reducing repetitiveness or aiding concision for the reader; where it appears, it refers to both population groups.
The information in this chapter on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and smoking should be understood in the context of the challenges that exist in the collection, analysis and interpretation of health data on Indigenous peoples. Data quality will be affected by issues such as: the potential under-identification of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders; the lack of data sets from some jurisdictions or regions, meaning that some 'national' data do not actually represent the entire Indigenous population; small numbers of participants; and methodologies that may not suit Indigenous people (or Indigenous people in some regions). Comparison of data sets (whether comparing data sets between Indigenous peoples, or between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples) is complicated by different data collection methods, and the differing definitions used (e.g. for definitions of smoking status or age groupings).
In addition, data specifically related to smoking rates among Torres Strait Islanders are only reported separately in Queensland; in other jurisdictions data relating to Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders are reported together. While national data sets collect information on the health of Torres Strait Islanders, analyses of this data in relation to smoking are not publicly available.