Talking About the Smokes is a large national research project to better understand the pathways to smoking and quitting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to evaluate what works in assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to quit smoking. 

The project is a collaboration between research institutions and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) and their state and national representative bodies.  It is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

We conducted surveys in communities served by 34 ACCHSs and in the Torres Strait.  We completed  baseline surveys of 2522 community members and 645 staff members from April 2012 to October 2013.  We then conducted follow-up surveys of half of the eligible smokers and ex-smokers in July 2013 to September 2014.

We released our baseline results on 1 June 2015 in a special supplement of the Medical Journal of Australia, available at

Our two policy and practice briefs summarising the project’s findings so far are available here (June 2015) and here (January 2017).

Our surveys are available at

For further information, please contact David Thomas.

  1. Pack warning labels help Aboriginal smokers butt out

    Pack warning labels help Aboriginal smokers butt out


    Pack warning labels are motivating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers to quit smoking according to new research released by Menzies.

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


    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.”

  3. Call to ban durries in Oz

    Call to ban durries in Oz


    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.

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


    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.