Richard trained as a public health physician in the UK, and came to Wellington in November 2005. He has over 20 years experience in tobacco control practice and research in the UK and New Zealand. Richard is co-director of ASPIRE 2025 Research Centre and co-director of the Whakahā o te Pā Harakeke research programme.
His main research interests are in tobacco use epidemiology and tobacco control (see ASPIRE2025). He has also carried out research in a variety of other areas, notably environmental epidemiology and non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. He is a member of the leadership group of the Otago Global Health Institute (OGHI).
His current research focus is on smokefree policy research, particularly in relation to achieving the Smokefree Aotearoa goal of ending significant tobacco use in Aotearoa/New Zealand for all peoples by 2025.
He is co-principal investigator of the Evidence for Achieving Smokefree Aotearoa Equitably (EASE) study (New Zealand arm of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Evaluation project).
Examples of recently completed research projects include:
- An evaluation of the effectiveness of the removal of point-of-sale displays in New Zealand and internationally
- An investigation of the feasibility of endgame solutions to tobacco control in New Zealand
- An exploration of whether young adults make a truly informed choice when they start smoking
- An investigation of the reasons for the recent decline in smoking among New Zealand adolescents
- Developing an action plan for the achievement of the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal
Richard is a Deputy Editor of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research and serves on various expert advisory committees including for Hāpai Te Hauora the national tobacco control advocacy service and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation.