Understanding smoking behaviour and providing smoking cessation support

Dr Claudia Marck

University of Melbourne

| Causes and Prevention | Social And Applied Research | Incubator | 2019 | Investigator Led Research |


Tobacco smoking is associated with worse health outcomes for people with MS. Health outcomes that are adversely affected by smoking tobacco include depression, anxiety, disability, conversion to secondary progressive MS and increased chance for other health problems. Despite the well-known facts about the adverse impact of smoking on the health of people with MS, up to 30% of people with MS continue to smoke. Smoking, like exercise and diet, are important factors to consider in all health conditions. While exercise and diet have been extensively researched in people with MS, smoking has not.

Currently, it is not known whether people with MS are routinely asked about their smoking behaviour, and whether smokers with MS get the help they need to quit. Also, it is not known whether people with MS are aware that smoking worsens their MS, and how and if smokers with MS want to receive help to quit. Whether there are barriers for MS clinicians to provide assistance is unknown. This study aims to answer these questions in detail by interviewing people with MS who smoke or have recently quit, as well as neurologists and MS nurses.

This is the first step in a proposed three step project with international collaborators to understand the best way to guide MS clinicians to assess smoking behaviour and help people with MS to successfully quit smoking. Ultimately, the goal is to bring smoking rates down and maximise health outcomes in people with MS.

Updated: 27th November 2019

Updated: 02 January, 2019

Stages of the research process

Fundamental laboratory

Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 10+ years

Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.

Lab to clinic timeline: 5+ years
Clinical Studies
and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 1-5 years


  • Dr Claudia Marck


  • Dr Lisa Grech
  • Professor Roshan das Nair
  • Professor Ron Borland

Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $24,992


  • 1 year – starting 2019

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