Smoking among people with intellectual disability

Project Details

People with disability are more likely to smoke and stop smoking at lower rates than people without disability. However, there is less information on smoking among people with intellectual disability; we don't really know much about why people with an intellectual disability start smoking or barriers to smoking cessation. Understanding the factors influencing smoking behaviours among people with an intellectual disability will facilitate the design of more effective and appropriate policy responses to tobacco control health promotion initiatives.

This project will include a detailed literature review on factors associated with smoking initiation and cessation, and intervention approaches to prevent smoking among people with intellectual disability. We will undertake quantitative analysis estimating smoking prevalence among people with intellectual disability using the HILDA Survey. We will also conduct interviews with people with intellectual disability, carers/disability service providers, health professionals (GPs and nurses), representatives from disability service provider organisations, and key policy actors.

We will co-produce and pilot health promotion resources based on our findings. Underpinning this project is a commitment to working in partnership with DPOs, policy makers, stakeholders and people with disabilities.


Dr George Disney, University of Melbourne
Ms Zoe Aitken, University of Melbourne
Ms Celia Green, University of New South Wales
Ms Mellissa Kavenagh, University of Melbourne 
Dr Jerome Rachele, University of Melbourne
Professor Roger Stancliffe, University of Sydney


Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALID)

Quit Victoria


Melbourne Disability Institute, University of Melbourne 2019

Research Group

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Equity

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