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Lindsay Robertson

Ornamental stone carving

Lindsay Robertson
Lindsay Robertson

After completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (DPH) at the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Lindsay decided to stay on to complete her master's in public health and a PhD.

What attracted Lindsay to studying public health was the idea of working in a field that embraces social justice and reducing inequity. She came to see how valuable research could be in terms of influencing public policy, and equally, how important policy approaches were as a tool to reduce inequity.

"Tobacco is one of the biggest contributors to health inequities in developed countries. My PhD explored different tobacco retail policies that could be introduced in New Zealand to change the way tobacco is sold. At the moment tobacco is sold almost everywhere, which is inconsistent with the Government's goal of becoming a smoke-free country by 2025."

Lindsay has been examining the tobacco retail policies that have been introduced in overseas countries: Is there evidence of effectiveness? How acceptable are these policies amongst key stakeholder groups in New Zealand? What are the likely effects of these policies on smoking? Lindsay hopes answering these questions will help nudge the government towards adopting policies to better regulate the tobacco retail environment. She believes this would be an important step towards New Zealand's goal of being a smoke-free nation by 2025.

After completing her PhD, Lindsay was awarded the Preventive and Social Medicine Postdoctoral Fellowship, and is now continuing her research on tobacco retail regulation. She is also extending her research expertise into e-cigarettes and supportive care in cancer.

"My supervisors and the wider team of researchers I work alongside are so supportive, humble and inspiring, it would be hard to match that anywhere else."

Public Health postgraduate programmes at University of Otago