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Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group

As Managing Editor for the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group I help others to register, complete and publish their Cochrane systematic reviews. I am also an author of a number of reviews myself - investigating reducing smoking to quit, interventions to increase adherence to smoking cessation medications, motivational interviewing for smoking cessation, and nicotine receptor partial agonists for smoking cessation, and more. In 2016 I led a priority setting project for the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group (CTAG taps), involving multiple stakeholders, including consumers. As well as being used to set the priorities for our group, the outputs of these projects have also been used by the NIHR to inform funding priorities and by other groups to inform their priority setting methodology. You can visit the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group's website by clicking here.

The Preloading Trial

I was involved in developing and then managing a large (N= 1786) NIHR HTA funded, multicentre, randomised controlled trial, to investigate the efficacy of nicotine patch preloading (the use of nicotine patches by smokers before they quit smoking). This led on from a systematic review, conducted as part of my PhD, which found that the evidence for the efficacy of nicotine preloading is contradictory and inconclusive. The trial has now been written up and published in the BMJ and will contribute to a Cochrane meta-analysis summarising the evidence for nicotine preloading. 

PhD Research/The Rapid Reduction Trial (RRT)

My PhD was focused around a large randomised controlled trial (the Rapid Reduction Trial) comparing reducing smoking before quitting and quitting abruptly. The aim was to ascertain whether reduction before quitting could be used as an alternative approach to abrupt quitting by the stop smoking services. This built on my Cochrane Review of abrupt versus gradual quitting, which found that the approaches resulted in similar quit rates. Listen to our podcast summarising the review. I am currently in the process of updating this review.

Nicola Lindson

BSc MSc CPsychol PhD

Cochrane Managing Editor & Senior Researcher

I am a Managing Editor for the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, a Researcher, a Chartered Psychologist and member of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS) - a UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC)  Public Health Research Centre of Excellence. 

My role within Cochrane involves facilitating the development and publication of systematic reviews and meta-analyses investigating interventions to prevent and treat tobacco addiction. As well as supporting others to carry out their Cochrane Reviews, I author reviews myself.

My research projects have generally focused on tobacco addiction and smoking cessation interventions, and I have been involved in developing and running large randomised controlled trials. I was awarded the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine's (UKSBM) Early Career Award in 2011, and my doctorate, examining new approaches to smoking cessation (smoking reduction and nicotine preloading) by the University of Birmingham in 2012. I have worked in Primary Care since I completed my MSc in Research Methods, and as well as smoking and tobacco have also investigated ways to aid GPs in identifying patients with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS).


I teach on the Nuffield Department for Primary Care Health Science's MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care, providing student supervision and lecturing on systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and also supervise Final Honours Scheme students.

I also lecture on the Cochrane UK training courses for Cochrane Review Authors (R1 and R2)

My main expertise is in clinical trials and systematic reviews of healthcare interventions; particularly smoking cessation.. 

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