Tackling Tobacco – Partnering with social and community service organisations to address smoking.

How does the Tackling Tobacco Program work?

The Tackling Tobacco Program works by partnering with social and community service organisations to address smoking.

The high rates of smoking amongst already disadvantaged and vulnerable groups make smoking an important social justice issue. Smoking damages people’s health, increases their financial stress and erodes their quality of life.

Tackling Tobacco encourages social and community service workers to ask clients if they are interested in stopping smoking. The program helps organisations to provide the environments and support that will help people to quit. It is not about forcing people to quit.

How does the Tackling Tobacco Program help community organisations to address smoking?

  1. Raising awareness: Briefings and seminars about the links between smoking and disadvantage can be arranged on request.
  2. Smoking Care Training: We have developed a one-day training course to assist workers to tackle tobacco and support clients to quit. More than 1,000 workers have participated so far.
  3. Resources: Free casework, group work and policy resources are available for your organisation.
  4. Projects: We have provided financial and other support to assist organisations to conduct their own Smoking-Care projects. More than 80 projects have been conducted so far.
  5. Research: Knowing what approaches work best with disadvantaged groups and within social and community services is important. You will find resources on this site that summarise relevant research.


The Tackling Tobacco Program was started by Cancer Council NSW in 2006. Its aim is to reduce the harm that smoking causes amongst disadvantaged groups with the highest smoking rates. Compared to a general Australian smoking rate of around 20-25%, research studies in recent years have reported much higher levels for:

  • People with mental illness – 33% to 58%
  • People with drug and alcohol problems – 44% to 73%
  • Homeless people – 77%
  • Lone mothers – 46%
  • Aboriginal people – 47%
  • Vulnerable young people – 63%.

Further Information

To learn more about smoking and disadvantage, and the Tackling Tobacco Program, visit Tackling Tobacco.