Professor Billie Bonevski
The University of Newcastle
31 May 2019

Behavioural scientist, Professor Billie Bonevski, made a career in research as she saw how many more people she could impact.

Up to 95% of people in drug and alcohol programs tend to smoke

“With my research I can implement it across settings and communities, and it impacts lots of people,” she explained.

While tobacco is a common factor for people seeking help from drug and alcohol treatment services, it is the disease resulting from tobacco use -cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, and cancers - that is the trigger to get help they need.

Working with social services, her “Call it Quits” project was very successful in reducing smoking rates with more quit attempts. It showed that these programs are successful in non-health service settings.

“The trials are actually implemented in health services or out in the community…so even at the point of doing research the translation is already starting,” she said. 

“We are training staff, we are building the capacity of health services, we changing systems so that when we walk out at the end of the trial….the changes continue on.

“Involving the research end user at the beginning and responding to their needs, increases the likelihood that your research will be used at the end,” she added.

Guydish J, et al. (2015). An international systematic review of smoking prevalence in addiction treatment. Addiction, 111, 220-230. 

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