Professor TH Lam was Chair Professor of Community Medicine (2000-21) and Sir Robert Kotewall Professorship in Public Health, The University of Hong Kong (HKU) (2007-21). He graduated from Faculty of Medicine, HKU with the MBBS degree in 1975. He got an MSc degree in medical sociology and an MSc degree in occupational medicine in 1980 and 1981 respectively from The University of London. He obtained his MD degree by research from HKU in 1988. He was Head of the Department of Community Medicine and Director of the School of Public Health and Director of Public Health Research Centre, HKU, in 2000-2012, 2009-2013 and 2004-2013 respectively. His awards from HKU included University Teaching Fellowship 1999-2000, Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award 2000-01, Outstanding Researcher Award 2001-02, and Long Service Award (for over 45 years).
Professor Lam is a fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational Medicine, the UK Faculty of Public Health, The London Faculty of Occupational Medicine, The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Community Medicine) and The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Professor Lam was President of the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine from 1997 to 2001. He was Vice-Chairman of Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (2002-08) and Co-Chair of Grant Review Board, Research Council, Health, Welfare and Food Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government (2003-09). He was appointed Justice of Peace in July 2005, conferred Honorary Fellowship of Hong Kong College of Community Medicine in 2008, and awarded Bronze Bauhinia Star Award in July 2012.
He was appointed by the World Health Organization as short-term consultant, temporary advisor or expert participant for more than ten occasions, and is Ambassador, World Cancer Research Fund Hong Kong from 2016. He was also listed as one of the HKU Scholars in the Top 1% most cited, with H-index of 85 (2022).
1998 - A Commemorative Certificate and Medal awarded by World Health Organisation in Rio de Janeiro, on achievement worthy of international recognition in promoting the concept of tobacco-free societies
2000 - China Tobacco Control Award, awarded by Chinese Association on Smoking and Health for distinguished contributions to tobacco control in China
2009 - “Contribution Award for Chinese in Tobacco Control” in recognition of outstanding contributions to tobacco control at the 3rd Cross-Strait Conference on Tobacco Control
2015 - China Tobacco Control Outstanding Contribution Award 2013-15 (中國控煙卓越貢獻獎) by China Tobacco Control Association
2022 - HKU Faculty Knowledge Exchange Awards 2022 “Saving Our Next Generation from Tobacco and Nicotine Addiction”
MAIN RESEARCH INTERESTS
Professor Lam’s research interests are on epidemiology and control of noncommunicable diseases with a major focus on tobacco and other lifestyle related diseases. He is/was principal investigator of several major epidemiological studies, including the Hong Kong Lifestyle and Mortality Study (40,000 subjects), Guangzhou Occupational Cohort Study (160,000 subjects), Hong Kong 1997 Birth Cohort Study (8,300 subjects), Hong Kong Elderly Health Services Cohort Study (60,000 subjects), Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study (Co-PI 2003 to present; 30,000 subjects) and FAMILY project (A Jockey Club Initiative for a Harmonious Society; donation HK$250 million). As principal investigator of FAMILY project, he collaborated with several hundred social service, health related and community organisations and schools on many community-based projects to promote family health, happiness and harmony (3Hs) based on public health approaches and positive psychology with vigorous evaluation. In FAMILY project Phase 2, he initiated “Zero Time Exercise” as a new approach to promote physical activity since 2014. Because of the zero wine and beer tax in Hong Kong since 2008, he has been involved in alcohol control and related research. He has published 950+ papers in international peer reviewed journals. He was principal investigator (2018-21) of the Jockey Club Smart Family Link Project (donation HK$157 million) using information communication technology to enhance family services and well being in Hong Kong. He is committed to research on simple interventions to promote smoking cessation, alcohol control, healthy eating, healthy weight, physical activity (zero time exercise) and mental health.
ACHIEVEMENTS IN TOBACCO CONTROL
Professor TH Lam is one of the world's leading scientists and advocates on tobacco control. His scientific contributions have been translated into important benefits to public health and tobacco control locally and internationally. Since his first major paper on smoking, passive smoking and lung cancer in 1987, he has published about 260+ papers on tobacco control related areas in international peer reviewed journals. He has contributed to four WHO reports, on secondhand smoke and child health, policy recommendations for smoking cessation, adherence to long term therapies, and smokefree policies, and one IARC report on reversal of risk after quitting. He was the lead researcher of 100+ research projects and his publications cover a wide range of important areas, including health hazards and economic costs of smoking and passive smoking, youth smoking, role of health professionals in tobacco control and training, smoking cessation (especially brief interventions and randomised controlled trials), public opinion and policy surveys, evaluation studies and e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products. He was actively involved in the campaign for the total ban on e-cigarettes and new tobacco products in Hong Kong, which has taken effect since April 2022. He advocates for a total ban of all forms of tobacco and smoking in Hong Kong in 2030.
- Lam TH, He Y, Li LS, Li LS, He SF, Liang BQ. Mortality attributable to cigarette smoking in China. Journal of the American Medical Association 1997; 278:1505-8. (corresponding author) [2019 IF=45.540] (Ranked 3 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]
- Lam TH, Ho LM, Hedley AJ, Adab P, Fielding R, McGhee SM, Aharonson-Daniel L. Environmental tobacco smoke exposure among police officers in Hong Kong. Journal of the American Medical Association 2000; 284:756-63. (corresponding author) [2019 IF=45.540] (Ranked 3 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]
- Lam TH, Leung GM, Ho LM. The effects of environmental tobacco smoke on health services utilization in the first 18 months of life. Pediatrics 2001; 107: e91. [2019 IF=5.359] (Ranked 5 out of 128 under the category of “Pediatrics”) [link]
- Lam TH, Ho SY, Hedley AJ, Mak KH, Peto R. Mortality and smoking in Hong Kong: case-control study of all adult deaths in 1998. British Medical Journal 2001; 323:361-2. (corresponding author) [2019 IF=30.223] (Ranked 5 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]
- Lam TH, Ho LM, Adab P, Fielding R, McGhee SM, Leung GM, Aharonson-Daniel L. Secondhand smoke and respiratory ill health in current smokers. Tobacco Control 2005; 14: 307-14. [2019 IF=6.726] (Ranked 12 out of 193 under the category of “Public, Environmental & Occupational health”) [link]
- Lam TH, Li ZB, Ho SY, Chan WM, Ho KS, Tham MK, Cowling BJ, Leung GM. Smoking, quitting and mortality in an elderly cohort of 56000 Hong Kong Chinese. Tobacco Control 2007; 16: 182-9. (corresponding author) [2019 IF=6.726] (Ranked 12 out of 193 under the category of “Public, Environmental & Occupational Health”) [link]
- Yin P, Jiang CQ, Cheng KK, Lam TH, Lam KH, Miller MR, Zhang WS, Thomas GN, Adab P. Passive smoking exposure and risk of COPD among adults in China: The Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Lancet 2007; 370(9589): 751-7. (Lam TH is the initiator of GBCS and the senior Co-PI) [2019 IF=60.392] (Ranked 2 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]
- He Y, Lam TH, Jiang B, Wang J, Sai XY, Fan L, Li XY, Qiu YH, Hu FB. Passive smoking and risk of peripheral arterial diseases and ischemic stroke in Chinese women who never smoked. Circulation 2008; 118: 1535-40. [2019 IF=23.603] (Ranked 1 out of 138 under the category of “Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems”; 1 out of 65 under the category of “Peripheral Vascular Disease”) [link]
- He Y, Lam TH, Jiang B, Wang J, Sai XY, Fan L, Li XY, Qiu YH, Hu FB. Combined effects of tobacco smoke exposure and metabolic syndrome on cardiovascular risk in older residents of China. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2009; 53(4): 363-71. [2019 IF=20.589] (Ranked 3 out of 138 under the category of “Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems”) [link]
- Leung CC, Lam TH, Ho KS, Yew WW, Tam CM, Chan WM, Law WS, Chan CK, Chang KC, Au KF. Passive smoking and tuberculosis. Archives of Internal Medicine 2010; 170(3): 287-92. [2019 IF=18.652] (Ranked 7 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]
- He Y, Lam TH, Jiang B, Li LS, Sun DL, Wu L, Liu M, Yang SS, Wang YY, Tobias DK, Sun Q, Hu FB. Changes in BMI before and during economic development and subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease and total mortality: A 35-year follow-up study in China. Diabetes Care 2014; 37(9): 2540-7. [2019 IF=16.019] (Ranked 4 out of 143 under the category of “Endocrinology & Metabolism”) [link]
- Global BMI Mortality Collaboration (Lam TH is member of writing committee). Body-mass index and all-cause mortality: individual participant-data meta-analysis of 239 prospective studies in four continents. Lancet 2016; 388(10046): 776-86. [2019 IF=60.392] (Ranked 2 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]
- NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (Lam TH is member of Pooled Analysis and Writing Committee). Worldwide trends in blood pressure from 1975 to 2015: A pooled analysis of 1479 population-based measurement studies with 19.1 million participants. Lancet 2017; 389(10064): 37-55. [2019 IF=60.392] (Ranked 2 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]
- Wang MP, Suen YN, Li WHC, Lam OBC, Wu Y, Kwong A, Lai V, Chan SSC, Lam TH. Intervention with brief cessation advice plus active referral for proactively recruited community smokers: A pragmatic cluster randomized clinical trial. JAMA Internal Medicine 2017; 177(12): 1790-7. [2019 IF=18.652] (Ranked 7 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]
- Au Yeung SL, Lam TH. Unite for a framework convention for alcohol control. Lancet; 2019; 393(10183): 1778-9. (Correspondence author) [2019 IF =60.392] (Ranked 2 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]
- Li WHC, Ho KY, Wang MP, Cheung DYT, Lam KKW, Xia W, Cheung KY, Wong CKH, Chan SSC, Lam TH. Effectiveness of a brief self-determination theory-based smoking cessation intervention for smokers at emergency departments in Hong Kong: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Internal Medicine 2020; 180(2): 206-14. [2019 IF=18.652] (Ranked 7 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [NB: Paper highlighted and recommended in New England Journal of Medicine Journal Watch December 3, 2019 / JAMA Network December 7, 2019: “one of the most popular among papers in the last week” [link]
- Leung CC, Lam TH, Cheng KK. Mass masking in the COVID-19 epidemic: people need guidance. Lancet 2020; 395(10228): 945. [2019 IF=60.392] (Ranked 2 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]
- Chan ALY, Leung CC, Lam TH, Cheng KK. To wear or not to wear: WHO’s confusing guidance on masks in the covid-19 pandemic. BMJ Opinion 2020 March 11[2019 IF=30.223] (Ranked 5 out of 165 under the category of “Medicine, General & Internal”) [link]