Aims:  
  • To understand how social media can be harnessed to enhance the impact of tobacco control strategies among Indigenous Australians.  
Objectives:  
  • 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.

Summary:  

This is a three year project, made up of four studies:

  • Study 1: What social media health information is being shared within communities, how and by who?
  • Study 2: How can social media be used effectively to reduce smoking and improve health?
  • Study 3: How can Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services use social media effectively for reducing smoking?
  • Study 4: How can Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services use social media to support people who want to quit smoking?

Working with a team of over 20 Indigenous community based peer researchers from Darwin, Nhulunbuy and Alice Springs we will combine online data collection and analysis with interviews with both users and non-users of social media.

All community based peer researchers are eligible to enroll in the Certificate II in Community Health Research

Chief investigators:
Project manager:
  • Vicki Kerrigan
Contact information:

Please email Vicki Kerrigan for further information.

Project dates:

The project commenced in April 2016. 

The team create short videos for social media to share updates on the social media and health research project. Check out the videos here

Latest news:

 

  1. No stigma for smoking among Yolngu people in East Arnhem Land

    No stigma for smoking among Yolngu people in East Arnhem Land

    Date

    A public health study into the effectiveness of tobacco control strategies in East Arnhem Land has found no evidence of smoking-related stigma among Yolngu people.

  2. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking rates and the NT

    National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking rates and the NT

    Date

    A survey released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows sustained improvement in the national smoking rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

  3. Tongans use social media to fight lifestyle diseases

    Tongans use social media to fight lifestyle diseases

    Date

    The training comes as new research from the Menzies School of Health looking at Australia's indigenous community has shown that using Facebook to deliver health messages can be effective.

  4. NT's high smoking rate sparks calls to ease vaping laws

    NT's high smoking rate sparks calls to ease vaping laws

    Date

    Menzies School of Health head of tobacco research David Thomas said there simply was not enough evidence about the potential health benefits.

  5. RAGCP | Smoking question unlikely to be included in 2021 census

    RAGCP | Smoking question unlikely to be included in 2021 census

    Date

    Professor David Thomas, a tobacco-control researcher who led the submission, is disappointed by the outcome but vows to keep fighting.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. COAG Health Council | Communiqué 8 March 2019

    COAG Health Council | Communiqué 8 March 2019

    Date

    The Federal, state and territory Health Ministers met in Adelaide at the COAG Health Council to discuss a range of national health issues.

  9. Media Release | Researchers will not accept support from tobacco industry funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

    Media Release | Researchers will not accept support from tobacco industry funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

    Date

    Leading Australian researchers have stated they will not accept any funding or support from the tobacco industry funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World in an Editorial in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health today.

  10. NT News | Sharing health message on FB

    NT News | Sharing health message on FB

    Date

    NT News | Sharing health message on FB

  11. 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.

  12. Project Newsletter October 2017

    Project Newsletter October 2017

    Date

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.”

  16. Project newsletter | April 2017

    Project newsletter | April 2017

    Date

  17. ABC Radio Alice Springs - Social Media Tobacco Project

    ABC Radio Alice Springs - Social Media Tobacco Project

    Date

  18. Project newsletter | December 2016

    Project newsletter | December 2016

    Date

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Kerrigan, V., Herdman, R.M., Thomas, D.P., & Hefler, M. (2019). 'I still remember your post about buying smokes': a case study of a remote Aboriginal community-controlled health service using Facebook for tobacco control. Australian Journal of Primary Health. https://doi.org/10.1071/PY19008
  2. Marita Hefler, Vicki Kerrigan, Joanna Henryks,  Becky Freeman and David P Thomas “Social media and health information sharing among Australian Indigenous people” Health Promotion International https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/day018