Gemma Taylor

Dr Gemma Taylor is a Reader at the University of Bath, a Cancer Research UK Population Researcher Fellow, and Head of Data Science and Analytics at a research consulting company. Gemma is an epidemiologist and behavioural scientist, and her research covers three main areas: 1) disentangling the causal nature of the association between smoking tobacco and mental health; 2) identifying intervention targets using experimental and epidemiological methods; and 3) co-design and testing smoking cessation interventions for use in NHS psychological services.  Gemma’s expertise is evidenced by various prestigious awards and publications.

Smoking cessation for improving mental health

Based on a large body of literature including experimental, observational, and novel causal inference studies, there is consistent evidence showing that smoking can negatively affect the brain and mental health, and that smoking cessation could reverse the mental ill-health caused by smoking. Dr Taylor will present data from a Cochrane Review that evidences the mental health benefits of smoking cessation, including impact on symptoms of depression and anxiety. Potential reasons for the observed association, and prevention and treatment strategies that could have a role in preventing and treating mental illness as well as physical illness, will be discussed, including results from the ‘ESCAPE’ trial, an innovative randomized controlled trial of smoking cessation integration into routine psychological care.