Usher Institute

Tobacco Control Capacity Programme: building capacity for applied research to reduce tobacco-related harm in low and middle income countries

Improving research capacity in Low and Middle Income Countries to conduct high quality studies that will generate evidence on how to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by tobacco use, and to advance key development priorities.

Summary (Research in a nutshell)  



Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the world. Globally, smoking kills more people every year than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined. By 2030, more than 80% of the world's tobacco-related deaths will occur in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Preventing people from starting to use tobacco, and encouraging users to stop, is a global priority.

The programme will be undertaken in two parts of the world (South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa) where progress on tobacco control has not always been good, and where the tobacco industry is active in attempting to undermine measures that work. The grant will build research capacity in several LMICs, through funding for in-country senior researchers and post-doctoral scholars who will undertake research designed to address local priorities in each country, supported by a programme of training in research methods and public and policy engagement.


The overall aim of the programme is to improve research capacity in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) to conduct high quality studies that will generate evidence on how to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by tobacco use and to advance key development priorities.

In doing this we will draw on an established framework for building research capacity 1 that has six main elements:

  • Co-creation of research close to practice
  • Infrastructures
  • Skills and confidence-building
  • Linkages and collaborations
  • Actionable dissemination
  • Sustainability


  1. Develop a consortium of partners led by the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, a UKCRC Centre of Excellence. UKCTAS will collaborate with Research Organisations in LMICs in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, along with Cancer Research UK's International Tobacco Control Programme. The team will be supported by a range of organisations and funders (Linkages and collaboration).
  2. Establish and train a cohort of post-doctoral fellows in the participating LMIC Centres. Additional research capacity will be developed in UK Universities with research fellows supporting the programme (Infrastructure)
  3. Develop new studies focused on tobacco control through a process of co-creation of research topics, data collection approaches and plans for dissemination undertaken between participating academics, government and NGO partners in each LMIC country (Co-creation of research closer to practice)
  4. Apply findings from these new studies to inform the implementation of effective tobacco control measures (reducing the demand for, and supply of, tobacco products) in each LMIC, in the UK and other countries (Actionable dissemination)
  5. Invest in wider stakeholder engagement (for example, Ministries of Health and Finance) throughout to identify pathways to impact and future options for the sustainability of the programme (Linkages, collaboration and sustainability)

Follow the programme on twitter @GCRF_TCCP

Key people  

TCCP Staff
Name Role
Professor Linda Bauld Principal Investigator
Dr Monika Arora Co-investigator
Professor John Britton Co-investigator
Professor Jeff Collin Co-investigator
Professor Umberto D’Alessandro Co-investigator
Professor Wakgari Deressa Co-investigator
Professor Andrew Fogarty Co-investigator
Professor Anna Gilmore Co-investigator
Professor Rumana Huque Co-investigator
Professor Muralidhar Kulkarni Co-investigator

Professor Ann McNeill


Ms Kellen Nyamurungi

Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo Co-investigator
Dr Steve Parrott Co-investigator
Professor Kamran Siddiqi Co-investigator
Professor Corne Van Walbeek Co-investigator
Ms Fiona Davidson Research Project Manager


Research Project Manager:

Key publications

Journal articles

  1. Chingosho, R., Dare, C. and van Walbeek, C., 2020. Tobacco farming and current debt status among smallholder farmers in Manicaland province in Zimbabwe. Tobacco Control, pp.tobaccocontrol-2020-055825. Available from:
  2. Abdullah, S., Huque, R., Bauld, L., Ross, H., Gilmore, A., John, R., Dobbie, F. and Siddiqi, K., 2020. Estimating the Magnitude of Illicit Cigarette Trade in Bangladesh: Protocol for a Mixed-Methods Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(13), p.4791. Available from:
  3. Tingum, E., Mukong, A. and Mdege, N., 2020. The effects of price and non-price policies on cigaretteconsumption in South Africa. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 18(July). Available from:
  4. Singh, A., Owusu-Dabo, E., Dobbie, F., Mdege, N., McNeill, A., Britton, J. and Bauld, L., 2020. A situational analysis of tobacco control in Ghana: progress, opportunities and challenges. Journal of Global Health Reports. Available from:
  5. Singh, A., Okello, G., Semple, S., Dobbie, F., Kinnunen, T., Lartey, K., Logo, D., Bauld, L., Ankrah, S., McNeill, A. and Owusu-Dabo, E., 2020. Exposure to secondhand smoke in hospitality settings inGhana: Evidence of changes since implementation of smoke-freelegislation. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 18(May). Available from:
  6. Chugh, A., Bassi, S., Nazar, G., Bhojani, U., Alexander, C., Lal, P., Gupta, P. and Arora, M., 2020. Tobacco Industry Interference Index: Implementation of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 5.3 in India. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 32(4), pp.172-178. Available from:
  7. Mukong, A. and Tingum, E., 2019. The demand for cigarettes: New evidence from South Africa. Development Southern Africa, 37(1), pp.40-54. Available from: 
  8. Mullapudi, S., Britton, J., Kulkarni, M., Moodie, C., Kamath, V. and Kamath, A., 2019. A pilot study to assess compliance and impact of healthwarnings on tobacco products in the Udupi district of Karnataka State, India. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 17(May). Available from: 
  9. Getachew, S., Lewis, S., Britton, J., Deressa, W. and Fogarty, A., 2019. Prevalence and risk factors for initiating tobacco and alcohol consumption in adolescents living in urban and rural Ethiopia. Public Health, 174, pp.118-126. Available from:
  10. Plotnikova, E., Hill, S., Wright, A. and Collin, J., 2018. Towards ‘a balanced delegation’ or enhancing global health governance? Analysis of parties’ participation in the Conference of the Parties to WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Tobacco Control, 28(6), pp.636-642. Available from:
  11. Dobbie, F., Mdege, N., Davidson, F., Siddiqi, K., Collin, J., Huque, R., Owusudabo, E., van Walbeek, C. and Bauld, L., 2019. Building capacity for applied research to reduce tobacco-related harm in low- and middle-income countries: the Tobacco Control Capacity Programme (TCCP). Journal of Global Health Reports, 3. Available from:
  12. Sheikh, A., Campbell, H., Balharry, D., Adab, P., Barreto, M., Bauld, L., Cooper, P., Cruz, A., Davidson, F., Dodd, P., Enocson, A., Fitch, N., Griffiths, C., Grigg, J., Heyderman, R., Jordan, R., Katikireddi, S., Kuo, S., Kwambana-Adams, B., Leyland, A., Mortimer, K., Mosler, G., Obasi, A., Orme, M., Readshaw, A., Savio, M., Siddiqi, K., Sifaki-Pistolla, D., Singh, S., Squires, B., Tsiligianni, I and Williams, S., 2019. The UK’s Global Health Respiratory Network: Improving respiratory health of the world's poorest through research collaborations. Journal of Global Health, 9(2). Available from:   
  13. Siddiqi, K., Siddiqui, F., Khan, A., Ansaari, S., Kanaan, M., Khokhar, M., Islam, Z., Mishu, M. and Bauld, L., 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on smoking patterns in Pakistan: findings from a longitudinal survey of smokers. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. Available from:

Policy briefs

Some teams from TCCP collaborated on a short-term project designed to meet an urgent need for evidence on public health responses and tobacco control in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This project was supported by a grant from the UK Global Challenges Research Fund, grant number MR/P027946/2 with additional funding from the University of Edinburgh’s Scottish Funding Council Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) allocation. Below is a list of policy briefs produced as an output of this programme:

  1. Hirpa, S., Deressa, W., Getachew, S., Addissie, A., Davidson, F., Dobbie, F. and Bauld, L., 2020. Covid-19 And Tobacco - Policy Brief Report - Ethiopia. [online] University of Edinburgh. Available at:
  2. Kanan, S., Huque, R., Davidson, F., Dobbie, F. and Bauld L., Covid-19 And Tobacco - Policy Brief Report - Bangladesh. [online] University of Edinburgh. Available at:
  3. Islam, Z., Khan, A., Davidson, F., Dobbie, F. and Bauld L., Covid-19 And Tobacco - Policy Brief Report - Pakistan. [online] University of Edinburgh. Available at:
  4. Logo, D., Owusu-Dabo, E., Singh, A., Davidson, F., Dobbie, F. and Bauld L., Covid-19 And Tobacco - Policy Brief Report - Ghana. [online] University of Edinburgh. Available at:
  5. Nyamurungi, K., Kabwama, S., Davidson, F., Dobbie, F. and Bauld L., Covid-19 And Tobacco - Policy Brief Report - Uganda. [online] University of Edinburgh. Available at:

All briefs are available from COVID-19 and Tobacco project page


This project is led by the Usher Institute, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh.

This project includes the following partners in the UK:

  • School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
  • Department of Health Sciences, University of York
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Bath
  • Kings College London
  • Cancer Research UK

This project includes the following partners in low and middle income countries:

  • ARK Foundation, Bangladesh
  • Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • School of Public Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
  • HRIDAY, Delhi, India
  • Public Health Foundation of India
  • Manipal Academy of Health and Education, Manipal, India
  • Makarere School of Public Health, Makarere University, Uganda
  • Research Unit on the Economics of Excisable Products (REEP), University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • MRC Unit @LSHTM, The Gambia
  • Aga Khan University and the National Tobacco Control Cell, Ministry of Health, Pakistan


This project is supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) with funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund.

More details on the project can be seen on the UKRI website  

UKRI & GCRF logo


Start date: 1 October 2017

End date: 31 December 2021

Scientific themes

Tobacco; non-communicable disease; smoking; social policy; epidemiology; respiratory health; Covid-19

Methodology keywords

Quantitative research; qualitative research; survey; capacity development; stakeholder engagement