Activities Guidance

Once you have decided what you want to accomplish through your program, you will need to choose activities that will help you to achieve these aims. It is important that Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) activities are effective for achieving the proposed outcomes of the TIS program (e.g. increasing awareness of the benefits of not smoking or vaping, more smoke- and vape-free environments, increased quit attempts, reduced uptake of smoking or recreational vaping). The best way of ensuring that an activity is effective is to use ones which have been tried and tested, so we have evidence that they work. It is also important that you choose the right activities for your local population needs and your local community context. Your role is to use your understanding of the communities in your region, your professional experience and expertise, along with your knowledge of the evidence to put together a suitable set of activities.

Population health promotion

The TIS program uses population health promotion activities to reduce the prevalence of smoking and recreational vaping in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. TIS is a tobacco control program, not a smoking or vaping cessation program. It aims to reduce tobacco related harm by preventing the uptake of smoking and recreational vaping, as well as encouraging people who smoke or vape recreationally to quit. Regional Tobacco Control Grant (RTCG) teams are funded to provide community outreach, rather than clinical individual level action to improve the health and wellbeing of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Click on the image on the left to read about the principles of population health promotion that should underpin all of your TIS activities.


What do we mean by evidence?

Evidence is the information or knowledge about ‘what works’ which can help you decide which activities you will use. Evidence comes from many different sources including published research, and many professionals value this kind of evidence the most. However published research about TIS activities is not always available. Local evidence that an activity works also has an important role to play in the development of TIS activities.

Figure 1: Using the evidence to develop locally relevant services

This is one reason why the careful monitoring and evaluation of local activities is an essential part of the TIS program. Collecting accurate and thorough local data will help you to see what works best and this information can then be used to improve your activities. You can also share this with other TIS-funded organisations and contribute to the evidence on what works for TIS.

Sometimes collecting data can be challenging – the number of participants in a program may be small, or it may be that it can take a long time to see changes in smoking or recreational vaping behaviour in the wider community. The NBPU TIS can support teams to address these and other challenges in order to develop the evidence base for TIS.

It is important to remember that the evidence does not provide a set of fixed solutions (it is not a ‘recipe book’). It is one element in an ongoing process. Your decision making will draw on your professional expertise about TIS and the local community with the evolving local and research evidence to develop a locally relevant service (Figure 1).


What is the current best evidence to support the reduction of tobacco use?

Evidence from a large-scale cohort study recently showed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults living in TIS-funded areas were more likely to be smoke free at home, to smoke less tobacco and show lower rates of nicotine dependency compared to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults who lived in non-TIS areas.

Quitting smoking is the best way to reduce tobacco-related harm. Individuals may make several quit attempts before successfully stopping smoking for good. This is why health promotion activities and community development to support quitting are so important; it’s about continually reminding people of the importance of quitting and informing them about where to get help. It is important that as well as providing education about tobacco harms, organisations providing health promotion activities are able to refer people who want to quit to smoking cessation support services. Being part of a wider health service system or network is therefore essential for TIS teams.

Preventing the uptake of smoking in youth is also important for reducing tobacco-related harm. Whilst there has been significant success in this area, novel nicotine delivery systems like vapes (e-cigarettes) and nicotine pouches threaten this progress. Education about the harms of vaping and the benefits of being vape free, alongside reminders of the benefits of being smoke-free are therefore also important for reducing tobacco-related harm.

Eligible and ineligible TIS activities

The table below outlines the eligible and ineligible grant activities for TIS teams as described in the Tackling Indigenous Smoking Regional Tobacco Control Grants (2023-24 to 2026-27) Grant Opportunity Guidelines (GO6775). You can read the previous version of the guidelines here: Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme Tackling Indigenous Smoking Regional Tobacco Control Grants (2023-24 to 2025-26) Grant Opportunity Guidelines (GO5803). For examples of these activities and how to monitor and evaluate them please download this factsheet.


Individual level activities for smoking cessation

TIS teams are funded to carry out population health promotion activities. They are not funded to provide smoking or vaping cessation support. TIS workers still need up-to-date knowledge of the support available to individuals wanting to quit, as this can inform TIS population health promotion campaigns and educational activities. The factsheets below provide an overview of how different individual level activities that can help support smoking cessation. At present there is no evidence suggesting specific approaches are needed to support vaping cessation. Strategies shown to be effective for smoking cessation are therefore recommended for for vaping cessation.