Professor Emerita Robyn Richmond from UNSW Medicine & Health has been awarded $1.2 million under the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Project Scheme, for the BUBs Quit study that will help pregnant women quit smoking.   

The BUBs Quit research team has also attracted over $2,800,000 in cash and in-kind contributions for the study from Partners of the BUBs Quit study, resulting in the study receiving a total of $4 million.  

“Smoking rates remain disturbingly high across Australia, particularly among high-risk pregnant women.  Regrettably, government mandated targets for smoking among pregnant women have not been reached,” Prof. Richmond said. 

Read more: Early career researchers at UNSW awarded $7.6m in funding

“To address this issue, our research team has co-developed the BUBs Quit smoking cessation intervention for pregnant women attending maternity clinics across NSW and Queensland.” 

Dean of UNSW Medicine & Health Vlado Perkovic congratulated Prof. Richmond on the funding. 

“Through NHMRC’s Partnership Project Scheme, Professor Richmond will partner with midwives, obstetricians, policymakers, public health practitioners, governments and others who share a vision of the importance of reducing smoking among pregnant women. BUBs Quit is a very important initiative and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of the study,” Prof. Perkovic said. 

Prof Robyn Richmond

Professor Emerita Robyn Richmond. Photo: UNSW.

BUBs Quit 

Prof. Richmond’s research team has co-developed the BUBs Quit program in consultation with pregnant women and collaborating partners. It combines individual strategies that effectively help people quit smoking. 

Midwife specialists will assist pregnant women to quit smoking using counselling, nicotine replacement and digital technology such as apps and text messages.  

The project team will evaluate the effectiveness, implementation and economic costs of the BUBs Quit program in maternity services across NSW and Queensland. The long-term objective is to use the research findings to scale up and translate the intervention into other jurisdictions.   

Collaborating partners 

The UNSW Medicine & Health research team consists of Prof. Richmond as the lead investigator, Professor Raghu Lingam, Associate Professor Amanda Henry and Associate Professor Tim Dobbins. 

The collaborating universities in the BUBs Quit study are the University of Queensland, Macquarie University, UTS, Charles Darwin University, University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney and Monash University. The NSW Ministry of Health is also participating in the study. 

The NHMRC awarded $14 million in funding to 12 Partnership Projects across Australia this year.  

The Partnership Project scheme provides funding for researchers and partner organisations to work together to define research questions, undertake the research, and interpret and translate the findings into health policy and practice. 

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO said: “NHMRC’s Partnership Projects demonstrate the power of collaboration between researchers, policymakers and health service providers to ensure the right research questions are asked and the research outcomes will be implemented into better health policy and care.”