The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs



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2020 ASCP Webinars

Please note this webinar scheduled for the 31 March has now been postponed, the new date will be announced shortly. 

PRESENTER: Alys Havard, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, University of New South Wales

The Utilisation, Effectiveness and Safety of Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapies During Pregnancy: An Australian Population-Based Study

This NHMRC-funded research used linked pharmaceutical claims and administrative health data for all women who gave birth in New South Wales and Western Australia between 2004 and 2012 to examine the extent to which prescription NRT patches, bupropion and varenicline are used during pregnancy. To examine the effectiveness of these medicines during pregnancy, the smoking cessation rates associated with varenicline relative to NRT patch use was measured. The risk and benefits associated with these medicines in pregnancy was assessed by comparing the rate of adverse birth outcomes among women who used prescription NRT patches, bupropion or varenicline with the rate among women who smoked but did not receive any of these medicines.


28 April 2020 l Add to Calendar

PRESENTER: Christine Sullivan, Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Talking Tobacco Team, Northern NSW Local Health District

Christine Sullivan will deliver a presentation on how to set up a tobacco treatment clinic, Title to be confirmed. 

We welcome your suggestions/feedback for future webinar presenters/topics, please forward these to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Catch up on many of the past webinar by clicking on the links below.

Previous Webinar Recordings

February 2020What is new in the second edition of Supporting Smoking Cessation: A Guide for Health Professionals?

Presenter: Professor Nicholas Zwar, Bond University and Chair of Expert Advisory Group for the publication

The second edition of this publication from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners was released on 28 January 2020 after a long process of review and discussion. The new edition has a number of substantive changes, including the incorporation of a brief intervention three step structure (Ask, Advise, Help) and a range of changes to recommendations for use of smoking cessation pharmacotherapies. The publication also includes recommendations around the role of nicotine containing e-cigarettes in assisting smoking cessation. These recommendations have attracted considerable attention.

The presentation will cover the process undertaken for producing the new edition, the key changes in recommendations and the literature review and rationale behind these recommendations.

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December 2019 | What is EVALI? What we do and do not know about the vaping lung cases in the USA 

Presenter:  Professor Billie Bonevski

In April 2019, the first case was reported of what quickly became a high number of lung damage cases that appeared to be linked to the use of e-cigarettes in the USA. By now over 2000 cases have been reported, including 34 deaths, and the condition has been given a name:  “e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury” (EVALI). All cases have been reported in the US and the CDC, FDA and state health authorities have been conducting investigations into causes. The latest advice based on those investigations is that it seems that EVALI is linked to street-bought tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vaping, with vitamin E acetate, used as a cutting agent, implicated. It appears that nicotine vaping is not associated with EVALI.

This presentation will provide an overview of the EVALI “outbreak”, placing it in the context of the research evidence of the safety of nicotine vaping, the communications and media reporting used to inform the public about EVALI, and the potential consequences of misinformation.

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September 2019 | Let's not get burnt all over again: ill effects of electronic smoking devices

Presenter: Dr Sukhwinder Sohal, University of Tasmania, Launceston

The effects of e-cigarette vaping on lung pathophysiology are slowly emerging which counter the unsupported claims of the nicotine/tobacco industry that electronic cigarettes are relatively safe. A single session of e-cigarette vaping has been shown to negatively affect lung function which is accentuated in asthmatics. Vaping has now also been linked to an increase in the risk of pneumonias, and in a mouse model e-cigarette vapour exposure has been shown to induce systemic inflammation and multi-organ fibrosis. 

This presentation will discuss the effects of electronic devices on lung health, supported by our own lab-based studies. This is important so that Australians are better informed when it comes to the safety of these newer devices and will help accelerate research efforts and allow health agencies to take evidence based regulatory decisions. 

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August 2019 | Harm reduction for smoking in pregnancy – mixed messages and options

Presenter: A/Professor Gillian Gould, and Ratika Kumar, University of Newcastle

Smoking in pregnancy is a well-known risk factor for both maternal and child health in the short as well as long term. Considering the limited research in this area and the fact that more than half of the women who smoke are not able to give up smoking during pregnancy, harm minimisation (harm reduction) options are desired. Women report they receive mixed messages about quitting versus cutting down in pregnancy from their healthcare providers.

In this webinar, we bring together our extensive research findings as well as world studies to provide an overview of what women are experiencing -  what the evidence is saying – and where to from here, in order to reduce the harms of smoking among pregnant women. Hear from GP research fellow and Tobacco Treatment Specialist A/Prof Gillian Gould, and Dr Ratika Kumar a dentist specialising in smoking cessation research in high-priority populations.

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July 2019 | Persistence of Cardiovascular Concerns of Pharmacotherapies for Smoking Cessation: Debunking the myths with the evidence

Presenter: Deepali Gupta, Senior Pharmacist, Preventative Team PAH

Deepali will look at the evidence for cardio vascular concerns vs benefits of medications used for smoking cessation with a focus also in patients with cardiac disease. Come for an open discussion to discuss your concerns in managing smoking cessation in a patient with cardiac disease.

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June 2019 | Engaging Doctors: Shared Medical Appointments for smoking cessation and relapse prevention

Presenters: Prof Garry Egger, Professor of Lifestyle Medicine, is well known for his Gut Busters series and his world leadership in Lifestyle Medicine, and A/Prof Renee Bittoun, Founding Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Smoking Cessation, Cambridge University Press

Shared Medical Appointments (SMAs), or group consultations are: “… a series of individual office visits (billable at individual rates) sequentially attending to each patient’s unique medical needs individually, but in a supportive group setting where all can listen, interact, and learn.” SMAs have been successfully used in chronic diseases such as Obesity and Diabetes. This presentation will describe a project that engages GPs in smoking cessation and relapse prevention using the SMA model.

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May 2019 | The Theory of Naturalising Non-Smoking: A Grounded Theory Study of Smoking Cessation

Presenter: Dr Rodrigo Ramalho, Psychiatrist and Academic at the University of Auckland 

Rodrigo's PhD research looked at the processes involved in smoking cessation and becoming a non-smoker using a grounded theory methodology. Informed by a critical theory perspective, his research and publications have focused on contributing to the development of a more person-centred, ground-up, and contextually sensitive health care, with an increasing emphasis on mental health and addictions. His current research interests include mental health, addictions, tobacco smoking, and psycho-social aspects of illness and well-being.

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April 2019 | Addiction Paper Authoring Tool Demonstration

Presenter: Robert West

Addiction Paper Authoring Tool (PAT), aims to assist researchers in writing research reports that contain all the required information, presented clearly and using consistent terminology, and structured in a way that makes it easy to see what was done and why what was found and what this means. It also stores the key information in a computer readable form making it much easier and quicker to use the paper in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The first version of Addiction PAT focuses on 2-arm randomised controlled trials but it contains modules that can facilitate the writing of any research report. Behind Addiction PAT is the beginnings of an Addiction Ontology, a formal system for representing knowledge in addiction and research methods that are used to provide intelligent prompts for authors and facilitate evidence integration and theory development and use. The scope of Addiction PAT and the Addiction Ontology includes all addictions including the use of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs as well as behavioural addictions such as gambling.  

Robert covers examples from the smoking field, including mention of a new E-cigarette Research Ontology that Cancer Research UK has commissioned to help identify gaps in the literature and evaluate research findings using a consistent evaluative framework.

A recording has not been provided

March 2019 | Tackling Nicotine Together: Assessment of smoking behaviours and receipt of quit smoking support from alcohol and other drug treatment services

Presenter: Eliza Skelton

Eliza Skelton is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Newcastle, Faculty of Health and Medicine. Her PhD entitled “An Investigation of an Organisational Change Approach for Smoking Cessation in the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Setting” is currently under review. 

There is no recording available for this webinar. 

February 2019 | First-line treatment for smokers at risk of developing COPD: The ECOS Study

Presenter: Tanya Badal

Tanya is a medicinal chemist-turned-clinical researcher for the Airways Physiology and Imaging Group at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and Concord Hospital. Her area of research includes respiratory physiology in both Smoking and Asthma.

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January 2019 | Targeted and collective action on tobacco control leads to shifts in tobacco management and smoking cessation

Presenter:  Anke van der Sterren

This webinar will discuss how a strategic and coordinated program of tobacco control activities by ACT alcohol and other drug (AOD) services—including targeted smoking cessation support to disadvantaged smokers—has led to significant changes in tobacco management policies, treatment practices, attitudes and smoking behaviours among service users, workers and AOD organisations.

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October 2018 | Cytisine for Smoking Cessation

Presenter: Dr Ryan Courtney, National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow at UNSW, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre

This presentation will critique the current evidence related to the effectiveness and safety of cytisine for smoking cessation.

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September 2018 | Smoking Cessation Framework for NSW Health

Presenter: Gemma Hemshaw

Gemma presents the Framework for NSW Health Services in smoking cessation health care delivery. This is a collaborative initiative to support local health districts to better manage and implement smoking cessation initiatives.

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August 2018 | What makes an effective smoking cessation counsellor?

Presenter: Renee Bittoun, Founding Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Smoking Cessation, Cambridge University Press

Who do you need to be to help people quit? This Webinar will cover the essential evidence-based characteristics of a successful smoking cessation counsellor or a tobacco treatment specialist.

For further details of the ASCP-SIGs visit our webpage


The views expressed by presenters and speakers are not necessarily the views of APSAD, and the Society does not accept responsibility for any information, research, recommendation or advice presented.