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Professor Richard Edwards

richard edwards 2015Richard Edwards, MB BChir, MRCP, FCPHM(NZ), MPH, MD

Richard trained originally as a public health physician in the UK, and is the Head of Department for the Department of Public Health. He has over 15 years of experience in tobacco control practice and research in the UK and New Zealand. Richard is Co-Director of ASPIRE2025, and co-principal investigator on the Marsden Fund Grant project Exploring an oxymoron: Smoking as an ‘informed choice’.

Research expertise

  • Tobacco control policy research including point of sale displays, smokefree policies, tax and price, and endgame solutions
  • Tobacco use initiation
  • Tobacco use epidemiology

Current or recently completed research projects have included:

  • An evaluation of the 2003 Smokefree Amendment Act in New Zealand
  • Air quality studies in hospitality venues, cars and other settings in New Zealand and the UK
  • An investigation of the influence of point-of-sale tobacco displays and the effectiveness of the removal of point-of-sale displays in New Zealand and internationally
  • Exploring influences on the uptake of smoking among Māori and non-Māori children
  • An investigation of the feasibility of endgame solutions to tobacco control in New Zealand

Richard is a Deputy Editor of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.
He gave the keynote address and was a recipient of the Cancer Council of Queensland William Rudder Travelling Fellowship for the 2011 Oceania Tobacco Control Conference.

Contact Details
Email Richard Edwards
Phone +64 4 918 5089
Post Department of Public Health
School of Medicine
University of Otago
New Zealand

Selected recent publications

1. Gray R, Hoek J, Edwards R. A qualitative analysis of “informed choice” among young adult smokers. Tobacco Control 2014. Published online September 10, 2014 as 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051793.
2. Healey B, Hoek J, Edwards R. Posting behaviour patterns in an online smoking cessation social network: Implications for intervention design and development. PLoS One (in press)
3. Jaine R, Russell M, Edwards R, Thomson G. New Zealand tobacco retailers’ attitudes to selling tobacco, point of sale display bans and other tobacco control measures: A qualitative analysis. N Z Med J 2014: In press
4. Jaine R, Healey B, Edwards R, Hoek J. How adolescents view the tobacco endgame and tobacco control measures: Trends and associations in support among 14-15 year olds. Tobacco Control. Published Online First: 2 May 2014doi:10.1136/ tobaccocontrol-2013-051440.
5. Cortes L, Thomson G, Edwards R. Testing policy evaluation methods for smokefree outdoor area policies. Evaluation Journal of Australasia 2014; 14: 35-42.
6. Gendall P, Hoek J, Marsh L, Edwards R, Healey B. Youth Tobacco Access: Trends and Policy Implications. BMJ Open 2014;4:e004631 [E-publication April 17 2014]
7. Tautolo E-D, Edwards R, Gifford H. A gift and a burden: the purchase and distribution of duty-free tobacco and its potential impact upon Pacific people in New Zealand. Tobacco Control 2014 [E-publication 17 March 2014,
8. Healey B, Edwards R, Hoek J, Wilson N, Thomson G, Taylor S. Youth exposure to in-vehicle second-hand smoke and their smoking behaviours: trends and associations in repeated national surveys (2006-12). Tob Control [E-publication 17 September 2013].
9. Edwards R, Peace J, Carter K, Blakely T. An examination of smoking initiation rates by age: results from a large longitudinal study in New Zealand. Aus NZ J Public Health 2013; 37 (6): 516-519.
10. Maubach N, Hoek J, Edwards R, Gifford H, Erick S, Newcombe R. “The times are changing”: New Zealand smokers’ perceptions of the tobacco endgame. Tobacco Control 2013; 22: 395-400. [Editor’s Choice]
11. Blakely T, Barendregt JJ, Foster RH, Hill S, Atkinson J, Sarfati D, Edwards R. The association of active smoking with multiple cancers: National census-cancer registry cohorts with quantitative bias analysis. Cancer Causes and Control 2013; 24 (6): 1243-1255.
12. Wilson N, Thomson G, Edwards R, Blakely T. Potential Advantages and Disadvantages of an Endgame Strategy: A “Sinking Lid” on Tobacco Supply. Tob Control 2013;22:i18-i21.
13. Gendall P, Hoek J, Maubach N, Edwards R. Public Support for More Action on Smoking. NZMJ 2013; 126 (1375): 85-94.
14. McCool J et al. Crossing the smoking divide for young adults: expressions of stigma and identity among smokers and non-smokers. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2013; 15:552-6.
15. Edwards R, Wilson N, Peace J, Weerasekera D, Thomson G, Gifford H. Support for a tobacco endgame and increased regulation of the tobacco industry among New Zealand smokers: results from a National Survey. Tobacco Control 2013; 22: e86-e93.
16. Thornley S, Dirks K, Edwards R, Woodward A, Marshall R. Indoor-air-pollution levels were halved as a result of a national tobacco ban in a New Zealand prison. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2012; 15: 343-347.
17. Hoek J, Gendall P, Gifford H, Pirikahu G, McCool J, Pene G, Edwards R, Thomson G. Tobacco branding, plain packaging, pictorial warnings and symbolic consumption. Qualitative Health Research 2012; 22: 630-639.
18. Hoek J, Maubach, N, Stevenson R, Gendall P, Edwards R. Social smokers’ management of conflicted identities. Tobacco Control. Published Online First: 20 February 2012
19. Edwards R, Peace J, Stanley J, Atkinson J, Wilson N, Thomson G. Setting a good example? Changes in smoking prevalence among key occupational groups in New Zealand: Evidence from the 1981 and 2006 censuses. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2012; 14 (3): 329-337.
20. Verma A, Torun P, Harrison A, Vestbo J, Edwards R, Thornton J. Are pharmacists reducing COPD’s impact through smoking cessation and assessing inhaled steroid use? In press Respiratory Medicine.
21. Thomson G, Edwards R, Wilson N, Blakely T. What are the elements of the tobacco endgame? Tobacco Control 2012;21:293-295
22. Hoek J, Vaudrey R, Deans G, Gendall P, Thomson G, Edwards R. Tobacco Retail Displays: A Comparison of Industry Arguments and Retailers’ Experiences. In press Tobacco Control.
23. Salmond C, Crampton P, Atkinson J, Edwards R A decade of tobacco control efforts in New Zealand (1996-2006): impacts on inequalities in census-derived smoking prevalence. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. Published online Dec 21, 2011.
24. Verma A, Torun P, Harris E, Edwards R, Gemmell I, Harrison R, Buchan IE, Davies L, Heller RF. Population impact analysis: a framework for assessing the population impact of a risk or intervention. Journal of Public Health 2012;34(1): 83-89.
25. Wilson N, Weerasekera D, Kahler CW, Borland R, Edward R Hazardous patterns of alcohol use are relatively common in smokers: ITC Project (New Zealand). In press New Zealand Medical Journal.
26. Edwards R, Wilson N. Smoking outdoors at pubs and bars: is it a problem? An air quality study. New Zealand Medical Journal.
27. Waa A, Edwards R, Newcombe R, Zhang J, Weerasekera D, Peace J, McDuff I. To what degree are parental behaviours independently related to current smoking and smoking susceptibility among 14 and 15 year old children? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2011; 35: 530-536.
28. Gendall P, Hoek J, Thomson G, Edwards R, Pene G, Gifford H, Pirikahu G, McCool J.Young Adults’ Interpretations of Tobacco Brands: Implications for Tobacco Control.Nicotine & Tobacco Control 2011; 13(10): 911-918.
29. Wilson N, Weerasekera D, Peace J, Edwards R. Smoker misperceptions about the harmfulness of menthol cigarettes: National survey data. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2011;35:364-7.
30. Edwards R, Russell M, Thomson G Wilson N, Gifford H. Daring to dream: reactions to tobacco endgame ideas among policy-makers, media and public health practitioners.BMC Public Health 2011, 11:580.
31. Quinn C, Lewis S, Edwards R, McNeill A. Economic evaluation of the removal of point of sale tobacco promotional displays in Ireland. Tobacco Control. 2011; 20(2): 151.
32. McNeill A, Lewis S, Quinn C ,Mulcahy M, Clancy L, Hastings G, Edwards R Evaluation of the removal of point of sale tobacco promotional displays in Ireland. Tobacco Control2011;20(2):137.
33. Thomson G, Wilson N, Weerasekera D, Edwards R. Strong smoker interest in ‘setting example to children’ by quitting: national survey data. and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2011; 35: 81-4.
34. Wilson N, Edwards R, Parry R. A persisting secondhand smoke hazard in urban public places: results from fine particulate (PM2.5) air sampling. New Zealand Medical Journal. 2011;124(1330).