Cheneal was awarded the UQ Early Career Researcher Grant for 2019, for the project Promoting referrals to a free and evidence-based smoking cessation program among smokers released from smoke-free prisons in Queensland. 

Approximately 74% of Australians entering smoke-free prisons are smokers, and while they are forced to quit smoking in prison due to smoking bans, Cheneal's PhD found that nearly all resume smoking upon release. People released from prison are eligible for a free smoking cessation program where they can receive free nicotine patches and behavioural counselling from Quitline, yet uptake of this service is negligible, representing a missed opportunity to improve the health of a marginalised population.

Researcher biography

Dr Cheneal Puljevic is the Research Operations Manager for the Centre for Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame (0.8FTE), and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Services Research (0.2FTE) at The University of Queensland.

In her role with the Centre for Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame, Cheneal manages and contributes to projects on tobacco endgame policies. Her primary research interest is smoking cessation among disadvantaged populations, in particular among people who have experienced incarceration. Following a number of publications from her PhD on this topic, she is the world's leading author on the topic of Prisons and Smoking Bans (SciVal, June 2022).

At the Centre for Health Services Research, she is the Program Manager for the Global Substance Use and Mental Health unit, where she conducts and manages a number of research projects related to substance use, including the Queensland evaluation of the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Policy (QUANTEM), a NIH-funded project on the impacts of roadside breath testing, and several projects using data from the Global Drug Survey. These projects cover a wide variety of topics, such as changes in alcohol and cannabis use following COVID-19 restrictions, perceptions of alcohol warning labels, cannabis use patterns, and patterns of methamphetamine "cooking".

In 2022, Cheneal was awarded the School of Public Health's prize for the top performing Level B academic in a research-focused position. In 2020 Cheneal was awarded the Australasian Professional Society for Alcohol and Other Drugs (APSAD)'s Early Career Award. In 2019 Cheneal was awarded the Centre for Health Services Research's Outstanding Early Career Researcher award.

Cheneal has previouly been employed as Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland, and as a Lecturer in the School of Public Health at The University of Queensland. She completed her PhD in 2018 at Griffith Criminology Institute at Griffith University, and completed an Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Cape Town in 2011.

Cheneal is available to supervise honours, Masters and HDR students on a variety of topics; please get in touch to discuss.