This very helpful report is the most accurate and up-to-date study I have seen on ATSI health issues and read what it says about ATSI smoking:
Tobacco smoking was the leading cause of the burden of disease and injury for Indigenous Australians in 2003, accounting for 12.1% of the total burden and 20% of all deaths....In 2004-05, half (50%) of the adult Indigenous population were current daily (or regular) smokers. While smoking rates have decreased slightly for the total Australian population over the ten years to 2004-05, there has been no significant change in smoking rates for the Indigenous population in this period....Many of these 2003 findings seem to come from here. The incidence of smoking is just under 3 times that of non-indigenous populations so the significant health effects do not surprise me. Also note that ATSI die on average at around 17 years earlier than non-ATSI populations. Thus, as a rough approximation, aboriginals die in their late 60s rather than their 80s – this is rough since it ignores significant ATSI mortality at much younger ages which will reduce the discrepancy between ages of death at older ages. However the bulk of lung cancer deaths occur in people in their 60s and 70s – for US data see this Table 3. Thus many of the deaths from smoking among ATSI will now not appear because ATSI have generally worse mortality than non-ATSI for various reasons not necessarily related to cigarette smoking.
Thus with a successful attack on ATSI health problems increased effects of smoking on ATSI mortality will become apparent unless such efforts include a clear focus on reducing ATSI smoking levels.