Renée O’Leary, PhD found her interest in tobacco research in 2006 with the simple observation that tobacco use was the world’s leading cause of death. Since that time, she has focused her research efforts on reducing the harms of cigarette smoking and has specialized in literature review methodologies. 

She obtained her doctorate in 2018 at the University of Victoria (Canada). Her dissertation, Vapour Products/E-cigarettes: Claims and Evidence encompasses an analysis of e-cigarette regulation, a review of reviews on e-cigarettes and cessation, and a systematic evidence review of youth vaping. A chapter is published as “Claims in Vapour Device Regulation: A Narrative Policy Framework Analysis” (2017, International Journal of Drug Policy).  During her doctoral program she led a research project and produced a monograph for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Clearing the Air: A Systematic Review on the Harms and Benefits of E-Cigarettes and Vapour Devices

Her Master’s thesis examined the tobacco industry, The Cigarette Commodity Chain and National Tobacco Control in China and Brazil. She is co-author on eight published articles on smoking cessation and on outdoor smoking bans. As well, she has been involved in health-related literature searches on health equity, post-cardiac care, women’s health indicators, domestic violence interventions, and alcohol studies.

Most recently she is a co-author of “The effect of e-cigarette aerosol emissions on respiratory health: a narrative review” (Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, 2019).  Her commentary “Tobacco Harm Reduction in the 21st Century” with co-author Dr. Polosa is currently in press at Drugs and Alcohol Today

She is the Project Leader at CoEHAR for a series of literature reviews on tobacco harm reduction for smokers through e-cigarette substitution and its effects on respiratory, cardiovascular, and metabolic (weight) health.