Kimberley Aboriginal Services Council Inc Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council Research
BOABS Logo Be Our Ally Beat Smoking (BOABS) Study

Aboriginal people smoke at much higher rates than non-Aboriginal people and smoking is an important contributor to increased disease, hospital admissions and deaths in Aboriginal populations.

Quit smoking programs in Australia have not had the same impact on Aboriginal smokers as on non-Aboriginal smokers. It is important that improved techniques for assisting Aboriginal people to quit be developed and implemented as part of comprehensive strategies to improve Aboriginal health.

A range of strategies have been used to encourage Aboriginal people to quit smoking however there have been few good quality studies that show what approaches work best. More evidence of strategies that could work more widely in Aboriginal primary health care settings is needed if good policy is to be developed and implemented.

We are carrying out a NHMRC funded randomised controlled trial of smoking cessation strategies in Aboriginal community controlled health services (ACCHS) in the Kimberley. This trial is based in two major Aboriginal health services in the Kimberley (Derby Aboriginal Health Service – DAHS, Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service – OVAHS).

The BOABS Study is carried out by local, trained Aboriginal Research Staff based at DAHS and OVAHS. Participants who agree to take part will be randomly allocated to either a program following current Australian recommended primary care smoking cessation strategies or a more intensive supported quit smoking intervention.

We have completed the preparation phase of this study. This included:

  • Intensive awareness and education of all OVAHS and DAHS clinical and data management staff on the standard quit smoking program.
  • Developing a locally-tailored, intensive, multidimensional smoking cessation program utilising identified Aboriginal smoking prevention officers
  • Developing the resources to be used in the intervention
  • Local Aboriginal staff at DAHS and OVAHS have been recruited as Researchers for the study. They have received training in how to conduct a randomised controlled trial and provide the intensive smoking cessation program.

We continue to encourage good quality standard approaches to quit smoking at both services based on the brief intervention model as part of normal clinical practice and to clearly document standard practice among clinical staff throughout the study.



Julia V Marley, David Atkinson, Carmel Nelson, Tracey Kitaura, Dennis Gray, Sue Metcalf, Richard Murray and Graeme P Maguire. The protocol for the Be Our Ally Beat Smoking (BOABS) study, a randomised controlled trial of an intensive smoking cessation intervention in a remote Aboriginal Australian health care setting. BMC Public Health 2012; 12:232



BOABS Study Pamphlet (549KB .pdf)

"Stop the Smokes" by Brian Hunter© (1.7 MB .wma)

Published Protocol (938KB .pdf)


  • Tracey Kitaura
  • Sue Clarke
  • Edna Hester
  • Brian Hunter
  • Brett Nelson
  • Bevan Norman
  • Marian Lester
  • Keran List
  • Alaine Ross
  • Veronica Ryder
  • Roxanne Williams
  • Assoc Prof David Atkinson
  • Prof Dennis Gray
  • Assoc Prof Graeme Maguire
  • Assoc Prof Julia Marley
  • Sue Metcalf
  • Assoc Prof Richard Murray
  • Dr Carmel Nelson


Copyright ©2010 Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council Inc. All Rights Reserved. • LEGAL DISCLAIMER / COPYRIGHT • PO Box 1377 - Broome - Western Australia 6725 • Phone: (08) 9194 3200 - Fax: (08) 9192 2500 Email: