No Smokes is a targeted communication project set in a research framework that promotes positive knowledge and attitudes on tobacco to young Indigenous Australians.

No Smokes is a suite of multi-media tools (housed at which help young people understand the effects of smoking through humour, storytelling and visual material. It empowers communities to make healthy choices related to tobacco use.

No Smokes uses animations, games, video clips and music to speak directly with young people, complemented by downloadable educational resources for teachers and health workers to deliver anti-smoking messages.

Vitally, it uses Indigenous faces and culturally relevant themes to deliver these messages and involves Indigenous Australians in the development of material.


The No Smokes project is an interactive anti-smoking website and package of educational resources and tools developed specifically for young Indigenous Australians, and the teachers and health practitioners who work with them.

No Smokes is inspired by a vision in which Indigenous communities enjoy the same level of health as other Australians, and smoking is seen as the exception, rather than a pervasive norm.

No Smokes uses empowerment strategies to promote healthy choices and behaviours about smoking to Indigenous people. With its focus on culturally relevant concepts and language, youth-friendly multimedia format, and inclusion of Indigenous faces, No Smokes represents a first in anti-smoking campaigning for young Indigenous Australian audiences.

No Smokes is based on the understanding that social marketing is at its most effective when it speaks the language of its target audience, when it uses the communications tools they use, delivers its message using people they look up to, and when they can see something of themselves in the faces and voices it features.

Additional funding from the Department of Health and Ageing was received in 2012, enabling the project to continue until mid-2014. This second phase of the project allows further content development and includes creating and delivering training programs for health workers and teachers.

Our funders and supporters:

No Smokes is a 'Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Healthy Lifestyles' initiative funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and supported through the Menzies School of Health Research. 



At the core of No Smokes' research methodology is a commitment to ongoing community consultation, and the participation of the target audience whenever possible.

The research team, led by Associate Professor Sheree Cairney, has conducted focus groups with young Indigenous people in rural, remote and urban locations around Australia, along with intensive one-on-one interviews and focus groups with teachers and health workers in the field. This process has informed every element of the project – from the visual identity of the No Smokes website, the ‘No Smokes’ name, branding and to the language and messaging of its flagship products.

Early formative research by the No Smokes team found that young Indigenous people did not identify with most traditional anti-smoking campaigns and therefore easily dismissed the campaign’s message. Those interviewed found a much stronger pull to multimedia, video, social networking, animation, music and mobile phones – media especially useful in overcoming language and literacy barriers.

As a result, No Smokes is rich with interactive content, including mobile phone apps, links with social networking sites and a YouTube channel ‘No Smokes TV’.


No Smokes fills a gap in anti-smoking campaigns for young Indigenous Australians, and also promises a much-needed pool of data re. what works and what doesn’t in this regard. A key project feature is formative and summative evaluation to inform and improve:

  • The initial project design – to test hypotheses re community demand and need, the merit of the chosen approach, the target audience's communications preferences, knowledge gaps, messaging and appropriate dissemination
  • Content development – to ascertain if products in development are ‘on message’ and will resonate with target audiences, as well as be of maximum utility to intermediaries
  • Post ‘go live’ – to gauge reach and impact among target audiences and their intermediaries, to establish what impact the project is having on the problem it seeks to address, and making necessary course corrections to its offer.

Using a combination of Google analytics data, online survey data, polls and data from custom built online products (for example, a smoking calculator and So You Think You Can Quit? quiz) as well as qualitative, face-to-face evaluation, in intensive one-on-one interviews and key informant focus groups, No Smokes is developing a rich source of knowledge for future project iterations and for broader use by researchers and practitioners in this field.

Menzies is evaluating the reach and uptake of the No Smoke project’s key messages. Online surveys are powered by SurveyGizmo.

The summative evaluation report (below), summarises the key findings from qualitative focus groups held with young Indigenous people, based on their reactions to No Smokes' flagship products.

  1. Summative evaluation report

    Summative evaluation report

    Summative Evaluation _Focus Groups__FINAL REPORT.pdf

Please visit the No Smokes resource page to download our resources.

No Smokes resources include:

  • An animated (Indigenous) brain explaining how nicotine addiction works, and how the brain can beat addiction
  • The Tobacco Story Flipchart available in both an online and hardcopy version 
  • Comedy skits by Indigenous comedian Sean Choolburra
  • Games such as an interactive ‘dance-off’ and a cheesy quiz show style quit journey planner
  • Video stories of Aboriginal celebrities and sporting stars, health experts, elders and successful quitters talking about the benefits of quitting
  • PDF facts sheets for teachers and health workers
  • Music clips and mobile phone ringtones to download
  • Study guides with lesson plans and activities for teachers to use No Smokes in the classroom. These are linked to the National Curriculum.
  • Health worker guides to support health care workers and heath educators use No Smokes resources within their health service and community groups.


Latest news: 
  1. Now you're speaking my language: Anti-smoking video translated into Indigenous languages

    Now you're speaking my language: Anti-smoking video translated into Indigenous languages


    A popular anti-smoking animation has been translated into three of the most commonly spoken Central Australian Aboriginal languages in an effort to tackle high smoking rates in remote communities where mainstream anti-smoking campaigns are failing.

  2. Teen who quit tells nation

    Teen who quit tells nation


    Weekly Times Messenger, Adelaide

  3. Fresh resources give health workers the edge to tackle Indigenous smoking

    Fresh resources give health workers the edge to tackle Indigenous smoking


    A suite of new No Smokes Health Worker Guides will be launched on World No Tobacco Day (Friday, 31 May) providing a toolbox for health workers, including Aboriginal tobacco workers, to tackle Indigenous smoking rates.

  4. Indigenous hip hop artist hits the road to promote quitting to youth

    Indigenous hip hop artist hits the road to promote quitting to youth


    Personal experiences of smoking, quitting and how smoking is affecting communities will play out on social media as part of a road trip for a group of leading Indigenous musicians.

  5. Personal quit diary of a young Indigenous man plays out on social media

    Personal quit diary of a young Indigenous man plays out on social media


    In an innovative personal quit smoking diary, Aboriginal blogger and teacher, Luke Pearson, will use Facebook and Twitter as part of his 20 day quit challenge.

  6. Menzies makes national headlines on World No Tobacco Day

    Menzies makes national headlines on World No Tobacco Day


    Vibe magazine.

  7. Indigenous celebrities back new national 'NoSmokes' website to slash youth smoking

    Indigenous celebrities back new national 'NoSmokes' website to slash youth smoking


    Comedian Sean Choolburra, Bangarra dance troupe performer Rarriwuy Hick, and hip hop singer Corey "Yung Nooky" Webster have teamed with the Menzies School of Health Research on an innovative multimedia anti-smoking project targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teens.

Core team:  
  • Dr Sheree Cairney, Project leader
  • Vanessa Gooch, Project coordinator
  • Lanie Harris, Social media and communications
  • Natasha Lee, Evaluation and training
  • Cath McKay, Content coordinator.
  • Sarah Bock, Developer
  • Tim Osborn, Technical programmer.
Advisory Board:
  • David 'Tarnda' Copley (Coordinator) – ATSI Cancer Prevention Team, Cancer Council South Australia
  • Karl Hampton – Senior research officer, Ninti One Limited: Information-Innovation-Ideas for remote Australia, Alice Springs
  • Kim Gussy – Regional tobacco coordinator, Healthy Lifestyle Program, The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), Brisbane
  • Luke Pearson – Aboriginal education consultant and social media specialist, Sydney
  • Nadia Neal – Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), program manager for Wollongong, Wollongong
  • Melody Muscat – Lecturer, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns
  • Trisha Williams – Smoke Free project officer, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), Canberra.

For more information about the No Smokes project please email.