Vaughan Rees

Dr. Rees was a panelist for the Forum’s discussion on E-cigarette RegulationThe Chronic Pain Epidemic, and Marijuana: The Latest Scientific Findings and Legalization.

Vaughan Rees’ research in tobacco control encompasses several interrelated domains, which include assessment of tobacco product design, potential for dependence, product use and individual risk, exposure to secondhand smoke in nonsmokers, and control of tobacco harms through policy and other interventions. His current research uses conventional and innovative strategies to evaluate the public health implications of new and novel tobacco products. Examples of these products include Modified Risk Tobacco Products (MRTPs); reduced ignition propensity cigarettes; hookah (tobacco waterpipe); and novel smokeless tobacco products such as snus. This work is used to inform tobacco control policy, develop resources for communicating risks of tobacco products, and to enhance understanding of factors that contribute to tobacco dependence.  Dr. Rees established the Tobacco Research Laboratory at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where biobehavioral and cognitive research among tobacco users, and product physical design analyses, are conducted.

Other research involves development of strategies to reduce secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in domestic environments, with a focus on evaluating interventions for reducing domestic SHS exposure among children. Dr. Rees leads an NIH funded study which seeks to reduce secondhand smoke exposure among children from low income and racially/ethnically diverse backgrounds. This research utilizes the principles of community based participatory research (CBPR) to develop and evaluate a cognitive behavioral intervention to help caregivers maintain a smoke free home environment.  He has conducted studies on SHS emissions of tobacco waterpipe, and SHS monitoring in indoor environments, including private homes and cars.

Dr. Rees’ academic background is in substance abuse and dependence, and he trained at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and did postdoctoral training through the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He has also published research on the role of cue reactivity in tobacco and alcohol abuse and dependence; and clinical trials on interventions for alcohol and cannabis dependence.