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 a Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Services Research and the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland.

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), and several projects using data from the Global Drug Survey.

At the School of Public Health, she is the co-coordinator of the CARP smoking cessation trial, and contributes to projects promoting smoking cessation among priority populations. Her primary research interest is smoking cessation among disadvantaged populations, with her PhD (completed in 2018) and current UQ Early Career Researcher Grant focusing on this topic.

Cheneal has previously 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.

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.