An interview with Dr Xiaolin Wei, Chair of the Union's Tobacco Control Section, and Secretary General of the Board of Directors.
Q: What is your current role and what does this involve?
A: With the Union, I’ve been a member since 2005 and currently serve as the Chair of the Tobacco Control Scientific Section, which provides opportunities for members around the world to work together on this issue. I have also been Secretary General of The Union Board of Directors since 2014.
I currently work as an assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Primary Care in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Director of Comdis Research Program in China. I am also a visiting professor in the DL School of Public Health in the University of Toronto.
Q: What are your main areas of expertise?
A: My major research interests include primary care reforms and policy evaluation, and health service delivery studies in TB and cardiovascular disease control, mostly in primary care settings. My work is predominately in China and Hong Kong, but also covers Ghana, Indonesia, Pakistan, through collaborations. I am a national consultant to the China Committee for Health and Family Planning and the National Development and Planning Commission on primary care reform, and also advised the WHO on TB control.
I have published more than 70 papers in international journals and four textbook chapters on health service studies, global health and disease control.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: My current work includes active TB case finding among smokers in primary care settings and smoking cessation programmes for people with chronic diseases and migrant workers.
Q: What do you consider the most important thing for advancing tobacco control?
A: Tobacco cessation is one of the key strategies in preventing and controlling TB, other lung diseases and most NCDs.
Q: What are you reading at the moment?
A: I enjoy reading historical biographies. I am reading My Brief History by Stephen Hawking right now.