Research Program


The CEITC Research Team

Viki Briggs - CEITC Director

Anke van der Sterren - Leading Research Fellow

Deb Knoche - Research Fellow

Alister Thorpe - Project Officer

Terry James - Project Officer

Contact details


Research Advice

CEITC as part of it's commitment to improve capacity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to undertake research in tobacco control is happy to provide research advice to community organisations. CEITC 's recommendations are drawn from 20 years of experience working within tobacco control in Aboriginal communities. This advice may comprise of referrals to current literature, what are the issues that need to be considered, recommendations on what constitutes best practice and advisory panel membership.


Current Projects

Talking about the smokes project

CEITC is part of the research team being led by David Thomas from the Menzies School of Health Research. Also on the team are researchers from AHMRC, QAIHC and NACCHO. The project aims to improve our understanding of the impacts of national, local and regional tobacco control policies and programs on smoking and quitting, and the factors mediating this, in Indigenous communities in Australia. The project will involve working closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community–controlled health services throughout Australia to collect data over two years. The Department of Health and Ageing has funded an establishment phase (2010-11) during which time protocols and governance issues were negotiated and surveys developed. Surveys are to be conducted with smokers, non-smokers, and health service staff. A further survey will assess the policy context at each site.

View Anna Nicholson's from the Menzies School of Health Research presentation on Talking about the Smokes project


Australian Secondary Schools Alcohol and Drug Survey (ASSAD)

CEITC collaborated with QUIT Victoria to conduct a pilot project which trialed a methodology to recruit and survey Indigenous secondary school students (aged 12-17 years) using an adapted Australian Secondary Schools Alcohol & Drug (ASSAD) Survey. The ASSAD survey is conducted nationally with random samples of secondary students, but in the past has failed to attract a significant Indigenous sample. This pilot tested a methodology that utilizes purposive sampling and a specific community engagement strategy to recruit an Indigenous sample. This was trialed in Victoria and Queensland in Semester 1 2012, and it is funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Queensland Health respectively. The pilot is being conducted with the prospect of rolling it out nationally in the future.

Use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances among Indigenous students participating in the Australian Secondary Students Alcohol and Drug Survey 2008

Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2008
Full Report and Tobacco section 

Australian secondary school students' use of alcohol in 2005 Report


Tobacco in Australia - Facts and Issues (Chapter 8)

CEITC updated Chapter 8 'Tobacco use among Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders' for the most recent edition of Tobacco in Australia - Facts and Issues, published by the Cancer Council of Victoria. The update includes new literature and findings since the last edition was published in 2008. The new edition was published in the beginning of 2012.

View Chapter 8 - Tobacco use among Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders (2008)

View other chapters


Previous Projects

Indigenous Tobacco Control Scoping Study

CEITC has conducted a review of evidence relating to tobacco consumption by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and identified what further research needs to be undertaken to understand the determinants of tobacco consumption, enablers of use, and the barriers to quitting. Components of this project were:

Objective 1 (Completed): Review current literature, identify gaps in knowledge about smoking behaviours and barriers to quitting and provide recommendations for future research;

Objective 2 (Completed): Review targeted communication strategies that could decrease Indigenous smoking rates and provide recommendations for appropriate communication trials;

Objective 3 (Completed): Review existing smoking prevention and cessation interventions and provide recommendations for appropriate trials; and

Objective 4 (Completed): Review current tobacco control workforce capacity and needs and provide recommendations for improving capacity.

CEITC has reported on Objectives 1 to 4 to the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing in September 2008. A series of fact sheets "What do we know about..." has been produced using findings from this study. See also CEITC resource section

Chief investigator: Anke Van Der Sterren


Goreen Narrkwarren Ngrn-toura – Healthy Family Air literature review for the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)

VACCHO's Goreen Narrkwarren Ngrn-toura – Healthy Family Air project seeks to increase the understanding and knowledge of smoking cessation, to create supportive environments with Aboriginal health organisations, to support Aboriginal women to quit smoking in pregnancy and to support young mothers not to take up smoking. Engagement has been a key component of this project and involved individuals, key stakeholders, multiple organisational partners such as Quit, and the Women’s Alcohol and Drug Service. The project seeks strong working relationships with other projects that have the objective of reducing smoking in pregnancy.

This literature review, written by CEITC Research Fellow Anke van der Sterren provides valuable information not just to provide direction for the project, but for all people working towards smoking cessation in Aboriginal communities. The project works from the premise that pregnant Aboriginal women and new Aboriginal mothers do not live in isolation. They are part of the Aboriginal community, as are their children. This project holds as the central focus that the health of Aboriginal children is everyone’s business. In focusing our efforts on the health of babies and children, we are improving the health outcomes of future generations of Aboriginal people in Victoria.


Download publication

Visit VACCHO project website

Visit VACCHO website