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Cambridge Public Health

Public Health Doctor

James Smith is a public health doctor based in Cambridge. He works independently to protect and improve health by supporting action to address climate change and promote sustainable development.

From 2013-2014 James worked for Public Health England, the then new national body for public health in England, to establish its Sustainability Programme which brought together its work related to climate change, extreme weather events and sustainable development into a single comprehensive programme.

Before working with Public Health England James undertook five years of professional public health training which included periods working for the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, the Centre for Diet and Physical Activity Research and local public health teams in the counties of Suffolk and Bedfordshire. He won places on and completed the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's Scholars programme and the East of England NHS Leadership Fellows programme.

Prior to specializing in public health James trained and worked as a general practice doctor. He holds a Masters in Public Health and Bachelors degree in Medicine from Cambridge University. He is a fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health and is a member of the UK Royal College of General Practitioners.

Publications from Elements

Journal articles

2023 (Published online)

  • Khan, N., Walpole, SC., Rostkowska, OM., Smith, JN. and Miller, FA., 2023 (Published online). Do clinical practice guidelines follow sustainable healthcare principles? A review of respiratory guidance PLOS Sustainability and Transformation, v. 2
  • 2023

  • Smith, JN., Yapp, L. and Kipouros, T., 2023. Very rapid decarbonization of primary care: could learning from COVID pandemic help us prepare? Fam Pract,
  • Smith, L-JE., Bhugra, R., Kelani, RY. and Smith, J., 2023. Towards net zero: asthma care. BMJ, v. 381
  • 2022

  • Twigg, AJ., Wilkinson, A. and Smith, JN., 2022. Local variation in low carbon footprint inhalers in pre-COVID pandemic primary care prescribing guidelines for adult asthma in England and its potential impact. Br J Clin Pharmacol, v. 88
  • 2021

  • Kemple, T., Smith, JN., Sowman, G., Wilson, A. and Bee, JW., 2021. Primary care and the climate and ecological emergency. Br J Gen Pract, v. 71
  • 2020 (Accepted for publication)

  • Smith, J., 2020 (Accepted for publication). Does telemedicine reduce the carbon footprint of healthcare? A systematic review Future Healthcare Journal,
  • 2020

  • Smith, JN., van Daalen, KR. and Venkatraman, R., 2020. Climate change and its potential impact on menopausal hot flashes: a commentary. Menopause, v. 27
  • 2019 (Accepted for publication)

  • Smith, J., 2019 (Accepted for publication). The costs of switching to low global-warming potential inhalers. An economic and carbon footprint analysis of NHS prescription data in England. BMJ Open,
  • 2019

  • Wilkinson, A., Hillman, T., Hopkinson, NS., Janson, C., Smith, J. and Woodcock, AA., 2019. Our patients and our planet-holistic considerations for inhaler choice. Lancet Respir Med, v. 7
  • 2017

  • Smith, JN., Hopkins, R. and Pencheon, D., 2017. Could the Transition movement help solve the NHS's problems? J Public Health (Oxf), v. 39
  • 2014

  • Smith, JN., 2014. Radical emissions reduction: An opportunity for improving health Carbon Management, v. 5
  • 2013

  • Aston, LM., Smith, JN. and Powles, JW., 2013. Meat intake in Britain in relation to other dietary components and to demographic and risk factor variables: analyses based on the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of 2000/2001. J Hum Nutr Diet, v. 26
  • 2012

  • Aston, LM., Smith, JN. and Powles, JW., 2012. Impact of a reduced red and processed meat dietary pattern on disease risks and greenhouse gas emissions in the UK: a modelling study. BMJ Open, v. 2
  • 2011

  • Smith, J. and Tiner, R., 2011. Aerosol drug delivery: developments in device design and clinical use. Lancet, v. 378
  • Book chapters


  • Powles, J. and Smith, J., 2011. Meat, climate change and global child health
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