Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Loren Kock

My PhD:  Title: 'The impact of electronic cigarettes and individual-level interventions on socioeconomic inequalities in tobacco smoking cessation'

Loren Koch picture

Supervisors: Dr Lion Shahab (Primary), Dr Jamie Brown (Secondary)

Lay summary: My research will use quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the impact of current interventions and products on smoking cessation across the social gradient. Along with analysing population-level data from the smoking toolkit study and conducting a systematic review of interventions targeting disadvantaged groups, I will be using systems science methods to better understand the potential that electronic-cigarettes (the most popular method for smoking cessation in the UK) have to either increase or exacerbate health inequalities in smoking cessation. Central to the PhD is an RCT that will examine whether the offer of an e-cigarette augments the effects of the currently most effective treatment package consisting of pharmacotherapy and behavioural support. As part of the RCT I will be conducting a process evaluation of this complex intervention and investigate whether there are socioeconomic biases in who receives the intervention and how successful it is.

My Background:  My interest in public health and epidemiology developed towards the end of my BSc in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh where I conducted a literature review examining potential interventions to address HIV and TB comorbidity. Aside from the technologies and treatments being developed to address these diseases, understanding the social circumstances driving the epidemics in affected populations globally was clearly fundamental to delivering improved and sustainable health outcomes. My MSc in Global Health at UCL allowed me to explore these interests further and fortunately I was awarded a travelling fellowship to conduct research in Kenya as part of an early evaluation of a family planning programme in underserved communities in the north of the country. These interests ultimately led me towards a PhD at the IEHC where I have joined an innovative research group in the department of behavioural science and health looking to advance and integrate population and individual approaches to smoking cessation.


MSc Global Health and Development (2015- 2016)

BSc Biomedical Sciences (Hons) Medical Biology (2011-2015)


UCL Chadwick Trust Fellowship (2016)


Kock, L., Shahab, L., West, R., Brown, J. (2018). E-cigarette use in England 2014-2017 as a function of socioeconomic profile. Addiction,

Kock, L. Prost, A. (2017): Family Planning and the Samburu: A qualitative study exploring the thoughts and of men on a population health environment programme in rural Kenya. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14, (5).

Contact details: Email: loren.kock.15@ucl.ac.uk

Twitter: @loren_kock