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A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


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Academic background
Business, Health Sciences, Humanities, Sciences
Host campus
Master's, PhD
Public Health (Wellington)
Professor Richard Edwards, Associate Professor James Stanley


This project will use the 2006, 2013 and 2018 census data to explore the patterns and trends in smoking by occupation. Smoking and occupation other than among health professionals is an under-researched area in New Zealand, despite the obvious potential for occupation/workplace-based interventions to contribute to achieving the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal. There is a unique opportunity to explore smoking and occupation in New Zealand because the 5 yearly population census includes questions on smoking status and on occupation.

The aims of this analysis would be developed more fully during the project, but would likely could include investigating the following:

  • Patterns and trends in smoking among key occupational groups, with stratified analyses by gender, ethnicity and age groups
  • Identification of very low prevalence occupational groups (which might help identify groups where past strategies have been effective)
  • Identification of very high prevalence occupational groups to identify potential settings for workplace cessation interventions
  • Identification of occupations with high prevalence of smoking among young adults to identify potential settings for workplace uptake prevention interventions

For a PhD, the census analysis could be complemented by qualitative work to exploring some of the key quantitative findings through in-depth qualitative studies among high priority occupational groups, or case studies in key settings.

The findings could be used to help inform the development of occupation/workplace-based cessation or prevention uptake interventions.

This is one of many study opportunities within the ASPIRE 2025 research programme. We carry out multi-disciplinary research to support the achievement of the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal, with a focus on research that informs the development and evaluation of healthy public policies such as smokefree laws, standardised (plain) packaging and restrictions on the retail availability of smoked tobacco products.

Please visit our ASPIRE 2025 website for further details


Richard Edwards
Tel +64 21 870 708 (but overseas currently, so best to e-mail)

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