Smoking prevalence among Aboriginal Australian young people greatly exceeds the prevalence in the broader population of Australian young people, yet limited research has explored the social context in which young Aboriginal Australians smoke. Four focus groups were conducted in 2009 with South Australian Aboriginal smokers aged 15-29 years residing in urban areas (n≤32) to examine attitudes and experiences surrounding smoking and quitting. The primary reasons for smoking initiation and maintenance among Aboriginal Australian young people were identified as stress, social influence and boredom. Motivators for quitting were identified as pregnancy and/or children, sporting performance (males only), cost issues and, to a lesser extent, health reasons. The barriers to cessation were identified as social influence, the perception of quitting as a distant event and reluctance to access cessation support. However, it appears that social influences and stress were particularly salient contributors to smoking maintenance among Aboriginal Australian young people. Smoking cessation interventions targeted at young urban Aboriginal Australian smokers should aim to build motivation to quit by utilising the motivators of pregnancy and/or children, sporting performance (males only), cost issues and, to a lesser extent, health reasons, while acknowledging the pertinent role of social influence and stress in the lives of young urban Aboriginal Australian smokers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health