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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. You can visit the groups website by clicking here

The Preloading Trial

I collaborated on and managed 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 leads 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 is currently being written up for publication and will add to the evidence on whether nicotine preloading should be recommended to smokers and utilised by stop smoking services, as a treatment option.

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.

Nicola Lindson

BSc MSc CPsychol PhD

Cochrane Managing Editor & Researcher

I am a Managing Editor for the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, 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.

I previously worked as a research fellow and my research also focused on tobacco addiction and smoking cessation interventions. 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 also have experience in developing and running randomised controlled clinical trials.


I teach on the department's MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care, providing student supervision and lecturing on systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

I have also supervised a Final Honours Scheme student at the University of Oxford and BMedSci students at the University of Birmingham.

My main expertise is in clinical trials and systematic reviews of healthcare interventions. 

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