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Professor Hayden McRobbie


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Professor Hayden McRobbie is a health behaviour change expert with a special interest in tobacco and obesity.

Hayden graduated with his degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Otago in 1996. After working in general medicine and surgery for three years he moved to the UK to take up a post in the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit (now the Health and Lifestyle Unit) at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine. Whilst working in the unit he completed his PhD (Medical Psychology), which focussed on tobacco withdrawal symptomatology.

Hayden is an experienced researcher with skills in undertaking large randomised controlled trials, cohort studies and surveys.  His main areas of research are in: (1) the treatment of tobacco dependence with a current focus on electronic cigarettes and digital strategies; and (2) behavioural interventions for weight management.

He is a Professor at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia, and a Consultant in Lifestyle Medicine at Lakes District Health Board, New Zealand. He is also Fellow of The Australasian Society for Lifestyle Medicine, and serves on the editorial boards of Addiction and Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

In the last decade Hayden has played a key role in Tobacco Control in New Zealand and over the past 3 years has acted as the Clinical Champion in Child Obesity for the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

University role: 

Fellow                      Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine          2019

PhD                         University of London                                            2008

MB, ChB                  University of Otago                                              1996


  1. Courtney R, McRobbie H, Whittaker R, Shakeshaft A, Stockings E, Petrie D, Brown J, West R, Thomas D, Siahpush M. A non-inferiority trial of Tailored Text Messaging versus Quitline for smoking cessation among low-socioeconomic status smokers. National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC); 2019-2022
  2. McRobbie H et al. Enhancing pharmacological and behavioural support to reduce smoking relapse: A factorial RCT. National Institute for Health Research, Health Technology Assessment Programme.
  3. Farrell M, Courtney R, Walker N, McRobbie H, Gartner C, Siahpush M, Petrie D, Paul C, Richmond R, Ferguson S.A non-inferiority trial of cytisine versus varenicline for smoking cessation. NHMRC; 2016-2019
  4. Mattick R, Courtney R, Borland, Gartner C, McRobbie H, Petrie D, Siahpush M, Richmond R, Shakeshaft A, Farrell M. Adding an electronic-cigarette to standard behavioural treatment for low-socioeconomic status smokers. NHMRC 2017-2020;
  5. Gartner C, Boyd M, Bonevski B, Gilks C, Borland R, Courtney R, Cobiac L, McRobbie H, Baker P, Mueller J. A pragmatic randomised clinical trial of nicotine vaporisers added to smoking cessation treatment for priority populations living with comorbidities. NHMRC; 2017-2021
  6. Hajek P, McRobbie H, Coleman T, Bauld L, Ussher M, Cooper S, Naughton F, Sinclair L, Lewis S, Manyonda I, Pzulj D, Sasieni P, Walton R. Helping pregnant smokers quit: Multi-centre RCT of electronic cigarettes vs usual care. Health Technology Assessment Programme. May 2017 – April 2019

Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Jarvik-Russell Early Career Award, which honours SRNT members who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of nicotine and tobacco research within 7 years of receiving their terminal degree.

tobacco use cessation products
smoking cessation
overweight/ obesity
Research activities: 
  • Study management including project design and set-up, recruitment, delivery of interventions, medical assessment and safety reporting, data collection, management and analysis, and dissemination of results.
  • Experienced in design and implementation of randomised controlled trials of medicinal products and behavioural interventions in both primary care and community settings.  I also have experience in experimental cross-over trials, pre-post cohort studies and survey methodology.
  • Undertaking systematic reviews
  • Liaison with key stakeholders (funders, collaborators, primary and secondary care staff).
  • Delivery of smoking cessation and weight management treatments.
  • Student supervision and mentoring.
Teaching & Supervision
I am available to supervise: