Dr Marita Hefler

Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer

Qualifications:

PhD, University of Sydney, 2017; Master of Public Health, UNSW, 2004; Graduate Diploma International Social Development, UNSW, 2003; Bachelor of Asian Studies, ANU 1998

Approved level of HDR supervision at Charles Darwin University:

Principal Supervisor for PhD

Location:

Darwin – Royal Darwin Hospital campus

Biography:

Marita has designed and led several research projects and evaluations of public health programs in partnership with Australian Indigenous communities and previously in South East Asia. Her sectoral experience includes tobacco control, social media, health communication, health promotion, Indigenous health, youth health, prison health, lifecourse approaches to understanding health behaviour, blindness prevention and health services quality improvement.

Marita primarily works in the Tobacco Control Research Program, where her research interests include use of social media, smoke free prisons, phasing out commercial sales of cigarettes and monitoring tobacco industry activities. She has particular expertise in qualitative research approaches, and her broader research interests include lifecourse approaches to understanding health trajectories and health disparities.

Since joining Menzies, Marita has contributed to over $7 million in research and consultancy funding. She holds a Heart Foundation Australia Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and is a Chief Investigator on two National Health & Medical Research Council-funded projects. She is the News Editor for the BMJ specialist publication Tobacco Control. Marita co-supervises five PhD students and two masters research project students and is co-lecturer for Qualitative Research Methods in the Menzies Master of Public Health program. Marita has prepared curriculum and delivered training and teaching in a range of other contexts, both online and face-to-face, from entry-level vocational and workplace-based training through to postgraduate level.

 

  1. Tane, M. P., Hefler, M., & Thomas, D. P. (2019). Smokefree leadership among the Yolŋu peoples of East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory: a qualitative study. Global Health Promotion, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1177/1757975919829405
  2. Hefler, M., Kerrigan, V., Freeman, B., Boot, G. R., & Thomas, D. P. (2019). Using Facebook to reduce smoking among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: A participatory grounded action study. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1-21. [615]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6918-7, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889- 019-6918-7
  3. Thomas, D. P., Hefler, M., Bonevski, B., Calma, T., Carapetis, J., Chamberlain, C., ... Wakefield, M. (2018). Australian researchers oppose funding from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 42(6), 506-507. https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.12861
  4.  Watts, C., Hefler, M., & Freeman, B. (2019). ‘We have a rich heritage and, we believe, a bright future’: how transnational tobacco companies are using Twitter to oppose policy and shape their public identity. Tobacco Control, 28(2), 227-232. https://doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2017-054188https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/28/2/227
  5. Hefler,  M., Kerrigan, V., Henryks, J.,  Freeman, B., Thomas, DP.,  (2018) Social media and health information sharing among Australian Indigenous people. Health Promotion International, 1-10, doi:10.1093/heapro/day018. https://academic.oup.com/heapro/article/34/4/706/4973719
  6.  Hefler, M., (2018) The changing nicotine product landscape: time to outlaw sales of combustible tobacco products? Tobacco Control, ;27(1):1-2 doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2017-053969. https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/27/1/1
  7.  Tane, M. P., Hefler, M., & Thomas, D. P. (2018). An evaluation of the ‘Yaka Ŋarali’’ Tackling Indigenous Smoking program in East Arnhem Land: Yolŋu people and their connection to ŋarali’. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 29(1), 10-17. https://doi.org/10.1002/hpja.1
  8.  Hefler, M., & Carter, S. M. (2019). Smoking to fit a stigmatised identity? A qualitative study of marginalised young people in Australia. Health, 23(3), 306–324. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363459317745690
  9.  Hefler, M., Liberato, S. C., Thomas, D. P., (2017) Incentives for preventing smoking in children and adolescents. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (6). doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008645.pub3. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008645.pub3/full
  10. Hefler, M., Hopkins, R., & Thomas, D. P. (2016). Successes and unintended consequences of the Northern Territory's smoke-free prisons policy: Results from a process evaluation. Public Health Research and Practice, 26(2), [e2621619]. https://doi.org/10.17061/phrp262161/>

    Click here to view more Marita Hefler publications in PubMed.
    Researchergate
    ORCID profile:
  1. NT News | NT Government events to go completely smoke free

    NT News | NT Government events to go completely smoke free

    Date

    NT Tobacco Control Action Committee chairman David Thomas said the plan placed special emphasis on reducing harm for Aboriginal Territorians, who suffered the greatest burden from tobacco use.

  2. Territorians Health a Priority as new Tobacco Action plan launched on World No-Tobacco Day

    Territorians Health a Priority as new Tobacco Action plan launched on World No-Tobacco Day

    Date

    The Territory Government has released its plan to improve the health of all Territorians by reducing the harm caused by tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke, and to prevent uptake by young people.

  3. NT News | Sharing health message on FB

    NT News | Sharing health message on FB

    Date

    NT News | Sharing health message on FB

  4. Media release | Feel-good social media posts more likely to encourage healthy behaviour

    Media release | Feel-good social media posts more likely to encourage healthy behaviour

    Date

    Positive health-related social media posts that provide new information are more likely to be shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to encourage healthy behaviours, a study has found.

  5. Let’s quit being idiots

    Let’s quit being idiots

    Date

    The time has come to think seriously about the impact smoking has on us - NT News Opinion Jill Poulsen.

  6. Top doctor calls for total ban on cigarettes, switch to e-cigarettes

    Top doctor calls for total ban on cigarettes, switch to e-cigarettes

    Date

    Menzies School of Health researcher Dr Marita Hefler says the rapid evolution of alternative nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, meant outlawing combustible tobacco, including cigarettes, was now possible.

  7. Call to ban durries in Oz

    Call to ban durries in Oz

    Date

    NT academic says outlawing smokes is not impossible THE rise in popularity of ecigarettes could open the door to a legislated ban on the sale of cigarettes, according to a Northern Territory academic.

  8. Is it time to outlaw cigarette sales in Australia?

    Is it time to outlaw cigarette sales in Australia?

    Date

    In a commentary published in the international journal Tobacco Control, Dr Marita Hefler said “The ongoing availability of cigarettes is an historical anomaly. Any other consumer product that kills up to two-thirds of its long-term users remaining legal is unimaginable.”

  9. Facebook could help lower Indigenous smoking rates

    Facebook could help lower Indigenous smoking rates

    Date

    Indigenous people have the highest rates of smoking in the country, but researchers in the Top End believe Facebook could be the most effective way of helping them quit.

  10. Facebook could help lower Indigenous smoking rates, ABC TV

    Facebook could help lower Indigenous smoking rates, ABC TV

    Date

    Smoking causes 1/5 deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Many social media tobacco control campaigns exist, but there is minimal understanding of their effectiveness.

  11. The evaluation of Northern Territory’s smoke-free prison policy: successes and unexpected results

    The evaluation of Northern Territory’s smoke-free prison policy: successes and unexpected results

    Date

    An evaluation of the Northern Territory’s smoke free prison policy has been published today in the online journal, Public Health Research & Practice.

  12. Jails escape worst link to smokes ban

    Jails escape worst link to smokes ban

    Date

    TERRITORY prisons have escaped the worst of tobacco black markets, violence and low compliance rates that researchers have penned as problems amid smoking bans in southern states, an expert has said.