Meet The Speakers - Tobacco 21

Speakers at Tobacco 21: The Case for Raising the Legal Age for the Sale of Tobacco in Ireland


Rob Crane MD, President Tobacco 21

Tobacco 21 USA

Rob is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the Ohio State University. He has an abiding interest in preventing nicotine addiction and is the founder and president of the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation. He was co-chair for SmokeFree Columbus, the coalition that helped pass smoke-free legislation in a dozen Central Ohio communities and led to statewide legislation. He is also the recipient of the 2011 Public Health Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians and the 2014 C. Everett Koop Award from the American Lung Association. He lives in the Columbus suburb of Dublin with his wife and three children.


Amanda Swenson Turner, Executive Director Tobacco 21

Tobacco 21 USA

Amanda joined the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation at the end of 2019. She is a seasoned public affair professional with experience working for national and local political campaigns, leading education and healthcare non-profits, managing corporate community relations and philanthropic initiatives, as well as corporate political/public affairs strategies. Originally from the Carolinas by way of Washington, DC, she resides in Columbus, OH with her toddler son. In addition to leading PTAF, Amanda serves on the Board of Directors for Dress for Success Columbus and teaches a variety of group fitness classes.

Dr. Paul Kavanagh, Consultant, Public Health Medicine HSE

State of Tobacco Control in Ireland – Time to Move from ‘Business as Usual’ to ‘Endgame’

Dr Paul Kavanagh is a medical doctor (Trinity College Dublin, 1997), a registered specialist in public health medicine (Medical Council of Ireland Registration Number 021204), and holds postgraduate qualifications in Community Health, Health Economics, Medical Education, Healthcare Leadership and Data Science. Having worked across a range of health system setting, Paul has broad experience in designing and driving strategic interventions that strengthen healthcare governance and that protect and improve population health.  Currently, Paul is a Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the National Health Intelligence Unit providing epidemiological advice and public health support to health information system design, major national health service reform, population profiling, and health service planning and evaluation; in addition, he is Clinical Lead for the HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme, and in this role recently led the development of Ireland’s first National Stop Smoking Guidelines.  Paul is also Senior Honorary Lecturer in Epidemiology and Public Health at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Examiner with the Faculty of Public Health Medicine.


Aoife Ní Riain, Member Limerick Comhairle na nOg

Tobacco 21: The Youth Outlook

Aoife is an 18 year old college student studying Maths and Physics at the University of Limerick. She is the National Executive for Limerick City and County Comhairle na nOg and has been a member of Comhairle for three years. Throughout her time with Comhairle she has had some amazing opportunities, one being working with Healthy Limerick on the Not Around Us project.

Dr. Emmet O’Brien, Consultant Respiratory Physician, Beaumont Hospital

Impact of Youth Tobacco Use on Lung Function & Development

Dr Emmet O’Brien is a Consultant Respiratory Physician and an Honorary Clinical Lecturer in Medicine at RCSI. Dr O’Brien graduated in Medicine from University College Cork and was awarded a PhD from RCSI for his work in translational respiratory medicine. He completed his fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, USA. He has a specialist clinical interest in lung cancer and lung nodule evaluation at Beaumont Hospital. Dr O’Brien’s research has explored pulmonary disease phenotypes in smokers and understanding tobacco smoke susceptibility in those with COPD/emphysema.

Prof. Catherine Hayes, Associate Professor in Public Health Medicine Trinity College Dublin

Youth Social Smoking: Evidence from Trinity College Dublin

Professor Catherine Hayes obtained her undergraduate medical degree from University College Cork. She completed the Cork Vocational Training Scheme for General Practice. She obtained a Masters in Public Health programme at University College Dublin. Having completed Higher Specialist Training in Public Health Medicine she was the appointed Specialist in Public Health Medicine in the Eastern Health Board, now part of the Health Service Executive (HSE). She obtained her Doctorate from the School of Medicine at UCD in 2010. She was appointed Associate Professor in Public Health/Specialist in Public Health Medicine at Trinity College Dublin in 2011 in a joint academic-service post with the HSE.

Professor Hayes is an experienced population health trial methodologist with an excellent record in Population Health and Implementation Science and in translation of research evidence into policy and practice to achieve maximum impact for  health improvement.

Her research addresses the development, implementation and evaluation of targeted interventions addressing behavioural risk factors, in particular tobacco and obesity-related determinants in prevention of chronic diseases using implementation science methodologies.

Her significant research in tobacco has principally been as PI of population health trials, addressing implementation and outcomes of smoking cessation interventions on women’s health.

Dr. Matthew Sadlier, Consultant Adult Psychiatrist  Mater Hospital

Neurobiological Effects of Smoking on Mental health

Dr. Matthew Sadlier is a Consultant Adult Psychiatrist in the Mater Hospital. After completing higher specialist training in General Practice, he the St John of God training scheme in psychiatry. Since completing higher specialist training in psychiatry he initially worked as a consultant in General Adult Psychiatry and works as a Consultant in Old Age Liaison Psychiatry in the Mater Misericordia and Connolly Hospital’s. He is a former president of the Irish Medical Organisation

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