Australian Anti-Smoking Campaign Targets Aborigines

Mar 28 2011

Australian Anti-Smoking Campaign Targets Aborigines

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Every year, 20 percent of Aborigines in Australia die from smoking related illnesses. About 50 percent of Aboriginal people smoke. Cancer, heart problems and other chronic diseases are mostly results of smoking among Aborigines. Also, Aborigines have a significant shorter life span than other Australians. Statistics have shown that Australian Aborigines’ lives are up to 11.5 years shorter than non-indigenous Australians. They are also twice as likely to die as infants.
The Australian government recognizes the health risks the Australian people are facing and decided to take action to reduce the amount of Australians smoking. On Monday, April 28th, Australia launched their first national health television advertising campaign. The commercial is aimed at the Aboriginal people. The Australian Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, hopes that the country will be able to halve the amount of Aboriginal people who smoke by the year 2018. The campaign is costing about $4.1million U.S.
The campaign is obviously much needed with over 50% Aborigines smoking. My concern is why they didn’t decide to do this earlier? It would have smarter for Australia to start this campaign several years ago, rather than waiting till indigenous people had shorter lives of up to 11.5 years. If the Australian government had started the campaign earlier, they may have also cut down on costs. However, overall I believe the campaign is necessary for Aboriginal people.

One Response to “Australian Anti-Smoking Campaign Targets Aborigines”

  1. cvalero Says:

    Although I believe that there are serious risks to second-hand smoking the Australian government has lacked a conscious when it comes to the Aborigine people. It was the British that decided to take over their land in the first place similarly to the Puritans coming to America and literally wiping out the Native American race with diseases and guns. Overall I think in the recent century Australia has bigger fish to fry than worrying about smokers. I mean the country is facing serious environmental crises with flooding and rapid and random fires for the majority of the warmer seasons of the year. From what I understand there is only a small amount of Aborigine people compared to the general Aboriginal population that lives among the pale-faces. Aborigine culture resides in deserted and what is referred as -by everyone else – as “no man’s land” or unlivable. In my opinion one of the main reasons Aborigines don’t live as long as most other Australians is simply because they choose not to live our modern ways which means less access to medicine and health resources to help they live longer. They should be left alone and given more opportunity to participate in governmental and/or social affairs more often if at all necessary. The non-smoking campaign is a start for the health of the Australian people but as I said before they do have other big problems (socially) to deal with promptly.

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