Translating research into action towards tobacco endgame in Tasmania; Is Tobacco 21 legislation part of the answer

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

The single most significant preventable cause of ill health and death in Australia is smoking.  Nearly all adult smokers (90%) try their first cigarette before they turn 21 years old, which transitions to regular daily smoking for most between 18 and 21 years of age. This crucial age group, undergoing physiological and psychological transition, is well-identified and targeted by tobacco companies to promote a lifelong habit of smoking. As stated by Philip Morris in 1986, the policies that support raising the minimum legal age (MLA) could be fatal to the tobacco industry, hampering their access to the young adult market. Raising the MLA for the sale of cigarettes is gaining traction as a part of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy. There is a gap in knowledge about smoking and legislative options, such as T21, through the eyes of young people in Australia. There is a need to synthesise existing evidence and gather the views directly from young people, which can inform the development of meaningful strategies that can be translated into practice. Utilising the concept of transitional research in this domain could not only strengthen the tobacco control policies but contribute to tobacco endgame in Tasmania.


Co-design an intervention with young people to reduce or delay the uptake of tobacco


  1. Systematic review of literature evaluating the impact of T21 globally.
  2. Examine current trends in prevalence and associated factors of tobacco use.
  3. Explore the social and psychological context of tobacco uptake among youth and their understanding of Tobacco 21.
  4. Co-design and implement a pilot intervention for delaying the uptake of smoking
  5. Economic analysis; health benefits and cost savings of T21
  6. Assess the environmental benefits of T21
  7. Evaluate the pilot intervention

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Suzanne Waddingham


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Have completed a postgraduate-level course in Health
  • Have a 'working with vulnerable people' card

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Have worked in the field of Public Health, tobacco control and/or obtained a Masters Public Health
  • Have worked with young people
  • Experience in mixed methods

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Suzanne Waddingham to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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