Internationally renowned Professor of Occupational Health and Safety, Derek Smith, will present a new perspective on occupational smoking at the prestigious Oxford Round Table this month.
Professor Smith is a recent appointee at the University of Newcastle and is the new Director of the WorkCover NSW Research Centre of Excellence, based at the University's Central Coast campus.
Now in its 20th year, the Oxford Round Table provides a forum for leading academics and policy makers to consider contemporary issues impacting the health and wellbeing of humankind. The themes of this years' Round Table are substance abuse and obesity. Professor Smith said he was honoured to be invited to present at such an internationally significant forum hosted by Oxford University.
"My Australian research has highlighted the need for policy and programs to focus more on the workplace and the occupational factors that potentially contribute to smoking.
"Male labourers and workers in related industries for example are the most likely to be smokers and male professionals the least likely.
"Similarly, female professionals are the least likely to smoke, while women working in labour-intensive jobs such as in the construction industry and service-related fields tend to have the higher smoking rates.
"While there are many public health interventions already underway to reduce smoking in the community, very few target people at work or specific occupations.
"If we are to make further inroads in reducing smoking rates then occupational factors must be addressed."
Professor Smith said the Oxford Round Table brings together leaders from the public and private sectors around the world.
"I am delighted to be attending this prestigious event at such an iconic institution and to contribute to greater cooperation between occupational and public health academics."
In 2007, Professor Smith was named Environmental/Occupational Safety Person of the Year by the World Safety Organisation for his international contribution to occupational health.
Professor Smith has previously worked for Japan's National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the National Institute of Industrial Health. He has also been based at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan.
The Oxford Round Table meets from 9 to 14 March.