Hunter Cancer Research Alliance

As a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional alliance, the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance (HCRA) functions to provide capacity building, funding and strategic support to cancer research across the translational research continuum – from basic research through clinical trials to behavioural, implementation and health services research.

With the support of our partnering institutions, executive leaders and a membership that consists of 250+ cancer-focused researchers, we are working to promote the excellence of cancer research in the Hunter and ultimately improve cancer patient outcomes in our region and beyond.

HCRA Director, Professor Stephen Ackland, explains the work of HCRA in the video below:


Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Electronic Cigarettes: Awareness, Recent Use, and Attitudes Within a Sample of Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Australian Smokers

Laura Twyman, Billie Boneveski, Christine Paul, Jamie Bryant, Coral Gartner, Ashleigh Guillaumier

Introduction: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) awareness, trial of e-cigarettes in the past 12 months, source and perceptions of safety and effectiveness was assessed within a disadvantaged sample of adult Australian smokers receiving welfare aid.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to clients who smoke at two community service organizations in New South Wales, Australia from October 2013 to July 2014. E-cigarette awareness, trial in past 12 months, sources of e-cigarettes and perceptions of the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes to help people quit were assessed along with sociodemographic and smoking-related variables.
Results: In total, 369 participants completed the survey (77% response rate). Awareness and trial of e-cigarettes were reported by 77% (n = 283) and 35% (n = 103) of the sample, respectively. E-cigarettes were most commonly obtained from friends/strangers followed by tobacco shops (tobacconists). Trying e-cigarettes in the past 12 months was significantly associated with positive perceptions of their safety (odds ratio [OR] = 1.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1, 3.1) and effectiveness (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.1, 3.2). Motivation to quit tobacco smoking was also significantly positively associated with positive perceptions of e-cigarette safety (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.1, 1.4) and effectiveness (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.0, 1.3).
Conclusions: Rates of awareness and trial of e-cigarettes within a disadvantaged sample of Australian smokers are comparable to rates found within representative samples of the general Australian population. Previously trying e-cigarettes and higher levels of motivation to quit were associated with more positive perceptions of e-cigarette safety and effectiveness.
Implications: This study demonstrates that socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers are aware of and accessing e-cigarettes in a country with relatively high restrictions covering e-cigarette sale and use.

Read the full article (PDF 601KB)

The University of Newcastle, Australia Hunter New England Local Health District Calvary Mater Newcastle Hunter Medical Research Institute Cancer Institute NSW