CASAA is pleased to announce the creation of its external Board of Advisors. Forming this esteemed group has been in the works for most of a year, but this represents its official launch. Most members of this group have been in communication with the CASAA leadership for a while, exchanging information and advice, though some of them have only been recently recruited to lend their advice to CASAA. In both cases, we are delighted to have this opportunity to work with them.
The group consists of Clive Bates, Dr. Brian Carter, Gregory Conley, Frank “Cisco” Correia, Fr. Jack Kearney, Oliver Kershaw, Dr. Riccardo Polosa, Louise Ross, Dr. Sally Satel, and Victoria Vasconcellos. Brief bios for each of them appear below. They bring a broad range of scientific expertise, political knowledge, communications expertise, and hands-on experience supporting consumer tobacco harm reduction choices and greatly expand CASAA’s networking opportunities.
Members of this group have agreed, to the extent that their many other projects allow, to be available for discussion and specific advice. They are encouraged to proactively offer advice (or criticism) about any CASAA action or policy. CASAA’s Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Operations Officer, Dr. Carl V Phillips, will serve as facilitator for the group.
CASAA Executive Director Julie Woessner observed, “This is an important step for CASAA. It increases our reach and available expertise, and demonstrates the broad-based support for our mission and organization from scientists, practitioners, and businesses who support tobacco harm reduction.”
Clive Bates has had a diverse career in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. After securing a degree in Engineering from Cambridge University, he worked in IT marketing for IBM. In a switch of career he took a Masters in Environmental Technology and went on to work as an energy specialist in the environment movement, initially for Greenpeace. From 1997-2003 he was Director of Action on Smoking and Health (UK), campaigning to reduce the harms caused by smoking. In 2003 he joined Prime Minister Blair’s Strategy Unit as a civil servant and worked in senior roles in the public sector in the UK and for the United Nations in Sudan. At the start of 2013, he opened a new venture, Counterfactual, a consulting and advocacy practice focused on a pragmatic approach to sustainable development, energy policy and public health.
Dr. Brian Carter earned a PhD in clinical psychology from Purdue University. His principal field of study is addictive behaviors with a focus on the psychological and behavioral foundations of nicotine use, dependence, and motivation. As a faculty member in the Department of Behavioral Science at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1999 to 2010, he conducted multiple National Cancer Institute funded laboratory studies on the emotional, genetic, physiological, and behavioral aspects of nicotine use in cigarette smokers. His work has been extensively published in Addiction, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, and other scientific venues. With the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, he is now an independent consultant and scholar reviewing the scientific literature from a tobacco harm reduction perspective, including the potential public health benefits of smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette use.
Gregory Conley is the President of the American Vaping Association, a nonprofit organization that advocates for small- and medium-sized businesses in the vapor product market. In addition to his work with the AVA, Conley is an attorney and a consultant on e-cigarette legislative and regulatory issues. From 2014 to 2015, Conley served as a research fellow on nicotine and tobacco issues for the libertarian think tank the Heartland Institute. Conley’s introduction to the world of vaping came when he quit smoking with a vapor product while in law school in 2010. From there, he served for approximately three years as the volunteer legislative director for CASAA.
Francisco “Cisco” Correia is an experienced electronic cigarette vendor and innovator with extensive knowledge of the e-cigarette industry and its products. Mr. Correia owns Avid Vaper and has been a long-time advocate for electronic cigarettes. He is well respected within the e-cigarette community and serves on the Board of Advisors as an industry expert.
Father Jack Kearney is Associate Pastor at St. Francis by the Sea and Good Shepherd churches. He was ordained a Roman Catholic deacon in 1980, and then delayed petitioning for ordination to the priesthood in order to attend training and certification at the Johnson Institute in Minnesota to serve families with members addicted to alcohol and other drugs. In 1986, he co-founded the Family Intervention Center and Services. He currently sits on two Los Angeles County Commissions: the Commission on Alcoholism, and the Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Commission. He is a Board Member and Past President of the California Association for Alcohol & Drug Educators (CAADE). He directs the Training Institute for Addiction Counselors (TIAC) and is an Instructor at Cypress College, Loyola Marymount University and California State University, Fullerton.
Oliver Kershaw is the founder and managing director of E-Cigarette-Forum.Com. He started vaping in 2007, and set up the website to establish a global conversation about the then radical but under-performing (and under-discussed) technology. Oliver is saddened that the Oxford English Dictionary did not choose him as the originator of the word “vape”, but has made efforts to secure his legacy in other ways: by co-founding the E-Cigarette Summit at London’s Royal Society, by advocating in every which way he is able, by publishing his thoughts at his (co-founded) vaping.com website, and by vaping ostentatiously but considerately in public places. Oliver has a BSc in psychology and lives in London with his wife and two young children.
Dr. Riccardo Polosa is full professor of internal medicine and head of the Institute of Internal Emergency Medicine at the University of Catania. He is a specialist in respiratory diseases and clinical immunology, and founded and directs the Center for Tobacco Research at University of Catania, where he and colleagues conduct international clinical research. He is a scientific advisor for LIAF (the Italian anti-smoking league) and member of the Italian Institute of Health Technical committee on monitoring e-cigarettes. He was among the first scientific researchers to focus on e-cigarettes and, according to a 2014 review, is the author of the most academic articles on e-cigarettes. His multi-disciplinary research on the topic includes the first clinical trial on the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes in smokers.
Louise Ross is the Stop Smoking service manager for Leicester (England), working for the Leicestershire Partnership National Health Service Trust, one of the few stop smoking services that actively encourages tobacco harm reduction. She has conducted and presented research on its impressive success. She has worked in smoking cessation and tobacco control for ten years and is active on social media as “grannylouisa”. Previously she had managed a large care home for people with learning disabilities for almost 30 years.
Dr. Sally Satel is a resident scholar at American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the staff psychiatrist at a local methadone clinic in D.C. Dr. Satel was an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University from 1988 to 1993 and remains a lecturer at Yale. She is an expert in addiction. She is interested in the intersection of medicine and culture and her research focuses on political trends in medicine and science and advocacy research. From 1993 to 1994 she was a Robert Wood Johnson policy fellow with the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. She has written widely in academic journals on topics in psychiatry and medicine, and has published articles on cultural aspects of medicine and science in numerous magazines and journals. She has testified before Congress on veterans’ issues, mental health policy, drug courts,and health disparities. Dr. Satel is author of Drug Treatment: The Case for Coercion (AEI Press, 1999), and PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine (Basic Books, 2001). She is coauthor of One Nation under Therapy (St. Martin’s Press, 2005), co-author of The Health Disparity Myth (AEI Press, 2006), and editor of When Altruism Isn’t Enough: The Case for Compensating Kidney Donors (AEI Press, 2009). Her recent book, co-authored with Emory psychologist Scott Lilienfeld is Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience (Basic, 2013). Brainwashed was a finalist for the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Science.
Victoria Vasconcellos is a former long time smoker and the owner of Cignot Inc., established in 2009. Victoria has made it her mission to insure that smokers receive support and affordable access to what she considers a life changing option to smoking. She has personally assisted tens of thousands of smokers as they navigate the path to no longer smoking and is a founding member of the Illinois chapter of SFATA.
(Please note that members of the Board of Advisors are not directly involved with CASAA policy-making and activities, and thus CASAA actions may or may not reflect their opinions. Similarly, the opinions, statements, and actions of the advisors do not represent CASAA policy. Advisor affiliations are indicated for identification and as credentials, and do not imply any relationship between CASAA and the advisors’ organizations.)