Health professional resources - Boorais & Smoke Don't Mix

Tackling smoking together with clients

Help your clients on their tackling tobacco journey with the aid of these resources:

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Pregnant Aboriginal women in Victoria 

  • 42.3% of Aboriginal women smoked during pregnancy in 2019  (up from 40.2% in 2018) compared with 7.3% of non Aboriginal women. 
  • 1,133 Aboriginal babies were born in Victoria in 2019 (1.4% of all women who gave birth and 1.4% of all babies born in Victoria).  This is an increase from 376 women (0.6%) and 380 babies (0.6%) in 2000. 
  • 12.1% of babies born to Aboriginal women were born before 37 weeks’ gestation, compared with 8.2% of those born to non-Aboriginal women. 
  • 12.0% of babies born to Aboriginal women had a birthweight below the 10th percentile, as compared to 8.5% of those born to non-Aboriginal women. 
  • 11.7% of boorais born to Aboriginal women had low birth weight  (< 2,500 grams), as compared to 6.9% of babies born to non-Aboriginal women. 
  • The stillbirth rate for boorais born to Aboriginal mothers for the triennium 2017–2019 was 7.9 per 1,000 births, and 6.2 per 1,000 births  for non-Aboriginal mothers. This compares to 7.1 and 6.2 per 1,000 births respectively for the triennium 2016–2018. 
  • Risk factors of smoking during pregnancy include premature birth, low  birth rates and stillbirths. These may have contributed to an increase in these statistics in 2019 for Aboriginal women and their boorais in Victoria.
  • The Victoria’s Mothers, Babies and Children’s Reports have recommended focused action relating to smoking and Aboriginal women. With an increase in smoking rates in 2019, this  suggests that we need to support Aboriginal women and their boorais in a different way. 

Victoria’s Mothers Babies and Children 2019 report