An interview with Dr Kamran Siddiqi, who became Chair of the Tobacco Control Scientific Section for The Union's membership, in December 2015.
Q: What is your current role and what does this involve?
A: I am a senior lecturer in public health and epidemiology based at the University of York. I lead a research group interested in tobacco control and lung health at the University, and together we develop and test innovative ideas that have the potential to improve lung health among the most disadvantaged.
For The Union, I stepped up to become Chair of the Tobacco Control Members' Scientific Section at the world conference in Cape Town last December. In this role, I hope that I will be able to help broaden and facilitate the Union’s engagement with the wider scientific community in its fight against tobacco epidemic. With the Union as a global platform, I would like us to mobilise more scientists, advocates, campaigners, and policymakers to work together to bring our shared vision of tobacco endgame a little closer.
Q: What is your main area of expertise?
A: My expertise is in conducting randomised controlled trials of interventions that are designed to reduce tobacco-related harm. I am interested in the relationship between tobacco use and infectious diseases, second-hand smoking, and non-cigarette forms of tobacco. I mainly work in South and South-East Asia.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: Currently, I am leading a research consortium that is conducting a multi-country trial of smoking cessation interventions in TB patients.
And at The Union, I am working with the tobacco control department and my fellow section officers to improve communication between Union members. I would like to facilitate a much closer involvement between members and the department to further the organisation’s tobacco control efforts.
Q: What do you consider the most important thing for advancing tobacco control?
A: Working collaboratively to increase tobacco taxes, implement smoke-free laws, provide alternative livelihoods to tobacco farmers, and offer cessation support to those who are addicted to tobacco.
Q: What are you reading at the moment?
A: Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia by David Hunt, which is very entertaining
Q: Where would you most like to travel?
A: Yellowstone National Park in the USA.
Q: Who do you consider a role model?
A: Sir Michael Marmot, who changed the way we see public health, for good.