It's more complex than just saying "I quit"

Aug 18 2020

We know that smoking has a negative impact on our health, so why is it so hard for some people to quit? Dr Eliza Skelton is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Newcastle and HMRI and she has a particular focus on health promotion around smoking cessation for people with alcohol and other drug problems.

For people who have any kind of addiction, there's a whole new level of challenges when it comes to getting the help they need to quit smoking. Eliza's work focuses on populations that need an extra level of care. As a provisional clinical psychologist and behavioural scientist, Eliza says we need to ensure that people get two kinds of support – behavioural and psychological – otherwise we’re only solving half the problem.

At the 2018 HMRI awards, Eliza received a grant funded by Stroud Rodeo for a project exploring smoking in people experiencing homelessness and how to provide support, guidance and resources to help them quit.
We know that smoking is the leading cause of many health issues. In fact, there are few conditions that aren't negatively impacted by smoking. However, when you add in alcohol or drug dependency, the health risks rise. Research has demonstrated that concurrent treatment (treating both issues at the same time) is much more effective than just focusing on one issue at a time. 

Dr Eliza Skelton spoke with ABC Newcastle's Craig Hamilton. Listen here