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Lindsay Stead


Managing Editor, Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group

My job is to assess the effectiveness of interventions for smoking cessation and prevention. I prepare, and help others to prepare, systematic reviews for publication in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Despite clear evidence of the harms of tobacco smoking, and falls in smoking prevalence in many countries, tobacco use is still a major global cause of illness and early death. Health care providers and governments must use the most effective methods to prevent initiation, encourage cessation and increase the long term success of quit attempts.

Cochrane reviews systematically assess the evidence base for specific interventions, by following a prespecified protocol, addressing clearly defined questions and relevant outcomes, and searching extensively for relevant high quality studies. The aim is to minimize bias and provide reliable estimates of the benefits and harms of interventions. The Tobacco Addiction Group covers all interventions related to tobacco use, including interventions to assist indiviual cessation, population based interventions such as mass media campaigns, and efforts to reduce uptake of tobacco use by children and young people.

As well as writing reviews, the Managing Editors and the Co-ordinating Editor in Oxford assist other authors who prepare reviews, many of whom are based outside the UK. The Editorial base advises on protocols, searches for studies, provides extensive editorial support, organises peer review and makes reviews ready for electronic publication.

The Tobacco Addiction Group has over 60 reviews published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in the Cochrane Library. New reviews appear regularly as new interventions are developed. All published reviews are updated where necessary to incorporate new evidence.

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