Public health symposium targets smokers most in need

Australia has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world at 15 per cent of the population but there remains a need to further cut rates in prisons, among the mentally ill and ethnic communities, researchers will argue at a public health symposium in Sydney.

The fourth annual symposium on Advances in Public Health and Health Services Research at UNSW will be held on Friday, 21 September.

UNSW Medicine Professor Robyn Richmond will talk about what can be done for populations at high risk from smoking – 83 per cent of female prisoners smoke and 78 per cent of male prisoners smoke in New South Wales, while smoking rates among the mentally ill are between 70 per cent and 90 per cent.

Also up for discussion is the federal government’s tobacco plain packaging legislation, with a keynote speech by Professor Melanie Wakefield, Director of the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at the Cancer Council Victoria.

The themes of the symposium are: Prevention, Protection, Promotion and Population. It will showcase research from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine and its affiliated research centres - The Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity; The Kirby Institute and The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.

A full list of speakers is available at http://sphcmresearchsymposium.unsw.edu.au/.

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