Smoking and Multiple Sclerosis

Project Details

Smoking is a key determinant of multiple sclerosis (MS) onset and is related to faster disease and disability progression, lower quality of life, increased depression, anxiety and higher premature mortality. Persistent smokers reached the progressive stage of MS eight years earlier compared with those who quit after diagnosis. Smoking cessation reduces the risk of disability progression significantly, and the earlier people with MS quit the stronger this effect.

An Australian case-control study reported that 27% of 282 participants smoked at time of enrolment, with 20% still smoking 5 years later, in line with international estimates. Despite 20% of >2.3 million people with MS still smoking, no data is available on how to manage or reduce this key risk factor. We are working with partner organisations to better understand the barriers to smoking cessation in people with MS, and get a better picture of current clinical practice around managing smoking and referring for smoking cessation.

Our aim is to help people with MS, and their clinicians, to make it easier to quit, which will lead to improved health outcomes.


Dr Claudia Marck, University of Melbourne
Dr Lisa Grech, Swinburne University
Professor Ron Borland, University of Melbourne and Cancer Council
Professor  Roshan das Nair, University of Nottingham
Professor Cris Constantinescu, University of Nottingham


Quit Victoria and Cancer Council


National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship

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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