Healthway Smoke Free Kids Tobacco Project

This project supported organisations to develop smoke free policies, using a series of culturally secure strategies.

Cutting the exposure of Aboriginal children to second-hand tobacco smoke has been the target of a project in the north of the state.

The ‘Smoke Free Kids’ campaign was an extensive five-year research project in which members of the Hedland community and local service providers and businesses were surveyed, with the aim of helping reduce health-related risks due to smoking. 

It was carried out by the Westren Australian Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) and completed this year, with funding from Healthway.

The study found that half of Aboriginal adults living in Port Hedland and South Hedland in late 2006 were smokers.

Surveys completed by the local Aboriginal community indicated that most families had rules around prohibiting smoking in their homes. However, 30% of responses showed that people lived in homes where someone smoked inside at least once a week or within close distance of the premises.

WACRH’s research team, spearheaded by Associate Professor Juli Coffin, and other research partners worked with the community, families and organisations and services addressing health and well-being of young Aboriginal children to set up a local Tobacco Action Taskforce. It supported organisations to develop smoke free policies, using a series of culturally secure strategies.

The research team also looked closely at a social marketing program that was practical, needed and that celebrated cultural strengths. The study culminated in television commercials showcasing family interventions and actions that aim to help reduce tobacco smoke exposure of Aboriginal children in the Pilbara and, more recently, in the Midwest.

A series of infomercials were created and will continue to air on a local television channel until next March. The infomercials are also regularly aired at health services and have been uploaded to the popular video viewing site, YouTube. Search for "nobakkibaby" to see the 13 infomercials.

Research Team: Dr Juli Coffin, Charmaine Green

Play one of the nobakkibaby videos


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