• To improve asthma self-management
  • To reduce the uptake of tobacco smoking amongst high school students.
  • To evaluate the implementation of the Asthma and Smoking Prevention Project (ASPP) in the new setting of the Northern Territory (NT).

To clinically evaluate approximately 40 Indigenous adolescents with respiratory symptoms:

  • To obtain pilot data for a future cluster randomised control trial that will determine whether a multi-component, peer-led school intervention improves asthma control and prevents tobacco smoking uptake in Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth
  • To determine if asthma in Indigenous youth is associated with a systemic pattern of non-eosinophilic inflammation and systemic markers of innate immune activation (IL-6, fibrinogen, CRP).

ASPP comprises the evidence based Triple A (Adolescent Asthma Action) program, a peer-led, asthma education initiative, with an added class smoke free pledge.

Our research has found:

The Triple A program was well received by NT high schools. This is the first time the program has been run in the NT with the Territory Football team, NT Thunder, also throwing their support behind the program, as the project addressed one of their key values of promoting healthy lifestyles. There were many benefits to the students being involved in the program, which included learning about asthma and what to do in an emergency and strategies to say 'no' to smoking. Moreover, the students develop confidence and leadership skills when teaching younger students.

Chief investigators:
  • Associate Professor Smita Shah, Western Sydney Local Health District and University of Sydney
  • Jan Saunders, Asthma Foundation Northern Territory
  • Professor Anne Chang, Menzies School of Health Research
  • Peter Gibson, John Hunter Hospital
  • Jill McGee, Asthma Foundation Northern Territory
Project manager:
Contact information:
Project dates:


  • Asthma Australia.
  1. NT News | Lung health app

    NT News | Lung health app


    Developed by the Menzies School of Health Research, the Lung Health for Kids app originally contained information on asthma but now includes the conditions bronchiolitis, pneumonia and bronchiectasis

  2. BuzzFeed | Scientists Are Rejecting Massive Amounts Of Money

    BuzzFeed | Scientists Are Rejecting Massive Amounts Of Money


    Multiple Australian researchers have asserted that they will not accept funding or support from a tobacco industry-funded research organisation in an editorial published today.

  3. ABC online | Research targeting asthma and smoking

    ABC online | Research targeting asthma and smoking


    Indigenous smoking rates: Older kids a new tool to break cycle in Northern Territory. By Nancy Notzon. Senior research fellow Dr Gabrielle McCallum | A trial targeting improved asthma outcomes and creating an environment where it's cool not to take up smoking.

  4. Pioneering asthma education program and research in Darwin schools

    Pioneering asthma education program and research in Darwin schools


    An innovative asthma awareness and self-management program with tobacco uptake prevention funded by Asthma Australia’s National Research Program is being introduced to school students in Darwin.