Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

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Health and Lifestyle Unit (HAL)

HAL conducts research in smoking cessation and in weight management. We provided the first evaluation of a number of smoking cessation methods and approaches that are now used worldwide and had the key input into the UK Stop Smoking Services. We continue to develop new treatments and enhance understanding of addictive behaviour and behaviour change. 


The Health and Lifestyle Research Unit comprises of Tobacco Dependence Research Unit (TDRU) and Weight Management Research Unit (WMRU).

TDRU is one of the leading smoking cessation research and treatment centres globally. It is a part of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, Public Health Centre of Excellence. TDRU research has informed clinical practice and guidelines in the UK and worldwide and it has on-going input in the national stop-smoking service training and relevant NICE guidelines.

WMRU is a more recent addition to the Unit’s work. It includes a treatment and research programme focusing on obesity and weight management. HAL research programme is currently funded by >£4 million in research grants from NIHR, MRC, CRUK, and other funders. The Unit is based at 2 Stayners Road, next to Stepney Green Underground Station. We also operate a Smokers Clinic and a Weight Clinic there. Regarding our clinical activities, we provide specialist stop smoking services for the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and City Corporation and have provided weight management services to the NHS and continue to run weight management clinics for QMUL staff and within various research projects. The clinics serve as clinical bases for our studies developing new treatments and enhancing understanding of addictive behaviours and behaviour change.

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