University of Tasmania
Research Area: Psychology
Cigarette smoking results in around 15,000 deaths per year in Australia and is a leading cause of preventable death and disease, with one in five adults still smoking. The majority of smokers want to quit but most attempts end in failure.
Dr Ferguson’s research focuses trying to understand why smokers find it so difficult. In particular, he looks at how social and environmental facts – such as where people are, who they are with, and what they are doing – can influence the success of a quit attempt. Stuart’s research also tries to understand why quit smoking treatments work for some people but not for others, in the hope that such information can help us to improve the way that we help smokers and result in more people being able to quit for good.
Stuart is committed to ensuring a link between his work and public health stakeholders and the policy domain. His work has been featured in print media including the Sunday Tasmanian and he is an active member of two local tobacco policy groups: the ‘Tobacco Coalition’ and ‘Smoke Free Tasmania’. He hopes his research fellowship with the Cancer Council of Tasmania will help him to hone his science communication skills.