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Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group

As Managing Editor of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group (CTAG) I help others carry out 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 CTAG (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. I am currently the co-PI of a project to convert CTAG's review of electronic cigarettes into a living systematic review. 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 contributes to a Cochrane Review and 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. I have since updated and broadening the scope of this review.

Nicola Lindson

BSc MSc CPsychol PhD

University Research Lecturer & Cochrane Managing Editor

  • Associate Lecturer for Cochrane UK
  • Chartered Psychologist
  • Associate Editor for Addiction (journal)
  • Research Member of Common Room, Kellogg College

My role as Managing Editor 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 is internationally recognised and focuses on tobacco addiction and smoking cessation interventions. I have achieved funding for, been involved in developing and managed large multi-centre randomised controlled trials. In 2011 I received the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine's (UKSBM) Early Career Award, and I was awarded 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).

In 2016 I was the Principal Investigator of a stakeholder engagement prioritisation project, funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, which went on to inform the funding priorities of the NIHR. I am currently co-PI of a project to carry out a Living Cochrane systematic review of 'Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation' More information on the project is available here, and a podcast (Let's Talk E-cigarettes) exploring our findings can be accessed here, as well as through Apple podcasts and Spotify.


I am an Associate Lecturer for Cochrane UK, and teach on their courses for Cochrane Review Authors (R1/R2), which guide authors through the protocol development process using a combination of lectures, workshops and software demonstration.

I teach on the Nuffield Department for Primary Care Health Science's MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care, and the Medical School's Medicine programme. I also supervise undergraduate, MSc and DPhil students and provide pastoral care for Kellogg College students.

Declarations of Interest

My salary is funded by an NIHR Infrastructure Grant and I receive payments for teaching from the University of Oxford and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I am an applicant on grants from the NIHR and Cancer Research UK. I have no affiliation with the tobacco industry.

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