Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Share by Email

Skip to content

Key resources

  • Bibliography
  • Health promotion
    Health promotion
  • Health practice
    Health practice
  • Yarning places
    Yarning places
  • Programs
  • Organisations
  • Conferences
  • Courses
  • Funding
  • Glossary

Top End Tobacco Project



The NHMRC funded Top End Tobacco Project aimed to reduce tobacco smoking in three remote Aboriginal communities plus several homelands in the Top End (Arnhem Land) of the Northern Territory over a five year period (2007 - 2011).

The project included:

Baseline surveys were undertaken June 2008 to February 2009.

Preliminary data show up to 77% of the 400 community members interviewed identified themselves as current smokers. More than half of these smokers are thinking about or actively trying to quit. Community members have expressed the need for greater community-based quit support.

Following consultation with community members, culturally and conceptually appropriate survey feedback was taken place through presentations at public meetings, to clan and family groups, to service providers and workplaces. To date, this, along with the baseline survey, has stimulated the development and implementation of community-specific intervention strategies. These include:

Hand-held expired carbon monoxide monitors have proven extremely successful in both verifying self-reported smoking status and creating opportunities for brief interventions in each community.

The researchers involved in the project were:

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet Abstract


Jan Robertson
Community-based Health Promotion & Prevention Projects
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences
James Cook University
Cairns Qld 4870
Ph: (07) 40421635
Fax: (07) 40 421680

Related publications

Thompson M, Robertson J, Clough A (2011)

A review of the barriers preventing Indigenous Health Workers delivering tobacco interventions to their communities.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health; 35(1): 47–53

Robertson JA, MacLaren DJ, Clough AR (2009)

Should the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee extend the range of free nicotine replacement therapies available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people? [letter].

Medical Journal of Australia; 191(5): 293

Robertson J (2011)

Tackling tobacco: a call to arms for remote area nurses.

Contemporary Nurse; 37(1): 49-56

Clough AR, Robertson JA, MacLaren DJ (2009)

The gap in tobacco use between remote Indigenous Australian communities and the Australian population can be closed [letters].

Tobacco Control; 18(4): 335

Time to stop or slow down? Your local health staff can help (2011)

Top End Tobacco Project

This resource kit was produced by James Cook University as part of the Top End Tobacco Project, which aims to reduce tobacco smoking in Aboriginal communities in the Top End of the Northern Territory. The kit contains posters and stickers promoting smoking cessation written in the Indigenous languages of the area, including Burarra, Kriol and Walpiri. A book containing stories on tobacco - Short ones - gathered from Indigenous people from Arnhem Land was also developed.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Robinson J (2008)

Top End tobacco project.

The Chronicle; 11(5): 26-27

Robertson J (2012)

Top End Tobacco Project - 2012 update.

The Chronicle; 24(4): 4-6

Robertson JA, Conigrave KM, Ivers R, Usher K, Clough AR (2012)

Translation of tobacco policy into practice in disadvantaged and marginalized subpopulations: a study of challenges and opportunities in remote Australian Indigenous communities.

Health Research Policy and Systems; 10: 23

Retrieved 28 July 2012 from

MacLaren DJ, Conigrave KM, Robertson JA, Ivers RG, Eades S, Clough AR (2010)

Using breath carbon monoxide to validate self-reported tobacco smoking in remote Australian Indigenous communities.

Population Health Metrics; 8(2): 1-24


Last updated: 22 February 2018
Return to top

Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute