Quitting smoking is one of the most important things we can do to safeguard health, as shown by one of our studies that found older Australians with chronic health conditions were up to 700% more likely to go to hospital if they smoked.
We are using big data to evaluate the safety of prescription medications that are now available to help people to stop smoking.
Our NHMRC-funded project has investigated the use and safety of medications during pregnancy. It has brought together 10 different data collections, resulting in a linked dataset containing almost 35 million records belonging to over 2 million individuals.
The study is investigating the maternal and neonatal safety of nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion and varenicline use during pregnancy, as well as inequalities in the use of these medications in disadvantaged populations, including Aboriginal women, and whether their use has changed in response to pharmaceutical policy reforms and changes in clinical guidelines.
We are also undertaking another large project to look at the safety of pharmacotherapies for smoking cessation in the general population.