More Katherine people smoke cigarettes than anywhere else in Australia.
Per capita, Katherine has the worst smoking habit in the entire nation.
Latest data from a national survey estimates one of in three Katherine residents smoke cigarettes each day.
The Australian Health Policy Collaboration, led by the Victorian University, has produced a health report card which rates Katherine the worst smokers, male and female, in the nation.
The study found 29.7 per cent of Katherine people over the age of 18 years smoked – the national average is 12.8 per cent.
Smoking is just the latest undesirable problem for Katherine with homelessness, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault and murder rates also some of the worst in the NT and Australia.
The Federal Government funded Sunrise Health’s anti smoking program earlier this year.
CEO Daniel Tyson said the money went to anti-smoking programs run in nine Arnhem Land clinics.
“The money has gone towards public health activities and events, and providing materials around anti-smoking,” Mr Tyson said.
“Smoking is a serious issue and contributes to the development of chronic diseases.
“Smoking is more prevalent in lower socio-economic groups, if you have a large Aboriginal population in town, that probably contributes to higher percentages.”
Katherine’s Smokemart manager Alan Steele said smokers in Katherine come from all backgrounds.
“I am not surprised to hear our smoking rates are so high, we have about 400 people a day buying smoking products,” Mr Steele said.
“The NT has always outdone everywhere else in alcohol and cigarette sales.
“We get people living remotely come in and buy in bulk, they might buy $2000 worth of cigarettes,” he said.
The number of women undergoing lung cancer surgery in Australia is escalating faster than that of men, reflecting the tobacco industry's aggressive marketing of feminised "slim" and "light" products in the 1980s and '90s.
Previously unpublished hospitalisation data reveals a 46.5 per cent increase in women undergoing lung cancer surgery between 2010 and 2015, in contrast to a 30.5 per cent rise for men.
In addition, the number of women dying each year from lung cancer has soared by 36.3 per cent to 3716 deaths in 2016 over the past decade, while the rise is less dramatic for men at 9.3 per cent.