The Team

iTAG Team

Dr. Joan Bottorff

Joan L. Bottorff, PhD, RN, FCAHS, FAAN, iTAG Co-Principal Investigator

Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC’s Okanagan campus; Director, Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, UBC; Affiliate Scientist, BC Cancer Agency; Research Fellow, Faculty of Health Services, Australian Catholic University.

Dr. Bottorff’s research interests include health promotion, cancer prevention, and gender influences. She has led projects that investigated tobacco use among pregnant and postpartum women, new fathers, youth, surgical patients, and young women in First Nations communities. Her research has provided the foundation for the development of innovative gender-sensitive health promotion interventions. Email:

Dr. John Oliffe

John L. Oliffe, PhD, RN, MEd, Grad Cert Pediatrics, iTAG Co-Principal Investigator

Professor, School of Nursing, UBC’s Vancouver campus; Founder and lead investigator of UBC’s Men’s Health Research program; Nominated Principal Investigator, Men’s Depression and Suicide Network.

Dr. Oliffe’s research focuses on masculinities as it influences men’s health behaviors and illness management, and its impact on partners, families and overall quality of life. His research provides key insights to guide clinicians and researchers and to advance men’s health promotion practices. Email:

Dr. Mary H. H. Ensom

Mary H. H. Ensom, PharmD

Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC; Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of BC.

Dr. Ensom has extensive experience in clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics particularly in relation to women’s health, effects of gender and age, and novel approaches to therapeutic drug monitoring. She is also involved in research in pharmacogenetics and pharmaceutical outcomes evaluations. Email:

Dr. Lorraine Greaves

Lorraine Greaves, PhD

Senior Investigator, BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, Vancouver, BC.

Dr. Greaves has been extensively involved in research on women’s smoking and gender-related influences related to tobacco use. She is particularly interested in applying a gender-based analysis to addictions research on a variety of topics such as mothering and addictions, integrating nicotine treatment into drug and alcohol programs, pregnancy and tobacco use, tobacco policy, and the relationship of violence to substance use. The findings of her research have been used to inform women-centred programs and policy. Email:

Dr. Milan Khara

Milan Khara, MD ChB, CCFP, cert. ASAM

Clinical Director, Tobacco Dependence Clinic, Vancouver Coastal Health Addiction Services; Clinical Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, UBC.

Dr. Khara is the Clinical Director of the Tobacco Dependence Clinic at Vancouver Coastal Health Addiction Services. The clinic offers tailored treatment to smokers who have other addictions and/or mental health issues. Dr Khara has extensive experience in addiction medicine and education of health care professionals. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC in the Faculty of Medicine and is also on the faculty of TEACH, a tobacco treatment training program from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Email:

Dr. Marvin Krank

Marvin Krank, PhD

Professor, Department of Psychology, Irving K Barber School of Arts and Science, UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Dr. Krank’s research is in the field of adolescent substance use. His focus is on the psychological determinants of drug use and drug effects including drug tolerance, drug withdrawal and cognitive models of addiction. Email:

Dr. Chizimuzo Okoli

Chizimuzo T. Okoli, PhD, MPH, RN

Assistant Professor and Director, Tobacco Treatment and Prevention Division – Tobacco Policy Research Program, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky; Investigator, BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, Vancouver, BC.

Dr. Okoli’s research interests include second-hand tobacco exposure, factors associated with smoking initiation, and tobacco dependence treatment in marginalized populations, including individuals with substance use disorders and/or psychiatric disorders. His particular interests include examining how sex and gender affect tobacco dependence treatment outcomes. Email:

Dr. Craig Phillips

J. Craig Phillips, PhD, LLM, RN, ARNP (US), PMHCNS-BC, ACRN

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa.

Dr. Phillips has extensive research and clinical experience in community settings in Florida, Botswana, and British Columbia. His research includes the development of tailored smoking reduction and cessation interventions with HIV+ gay men and a needs assessment of health care providers’ knowledge of HIV-related criminal laws in the United States and Canada. Email:

Nancy Poole

Nancy Poole, MA

Director, BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health; Provincial Research Consultant on Women & Substance Use Issues, BC Women’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC.

Nancy Poole works as the Provincial Research Consultant on women’s substance use issues with BC Women’s Hospital and as a Director with the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, on research and knowledge exchange relating to policy and service provision for girls and women who use alcohol, tobacco and other substances. Email:

Dr. Carole Robinson

Carole Robinson, PhD, RN

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, UBC’s Okanagan campus

Dr. Robinson has extensive expertise in family interactions and relationships and their influence on health behaviours, and in developing interventions for families managing chronic and life threatening illness. She is currently involved in research in the area of family dynamics, smoking and lung cancer. Email:

Dr. Iris Torchalla

Iris Torchalla, PhD

Scientist, Centre for Health Evaluation & Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS), Department of Psychiatry, UBC

Dr. Torchalla specializes in clinical psychology, tobacco dependence, and cognitive-behavioural therapy of mental health and substance use disorders. Her research has included smoking cessation intervention trials, the investigation of smoker subgroups, and the investigation of sex- and gender-related factors in smoking motivation, tobacco dependence, and cessation. Email:

Dr. Rebecca Haines-Saah

Rebecca Haines-Saah, PhD

CIHR/MSFHR Science Policy Fellow, BC Ministry of Health

Dr. Haines-Saah is a health sociologist who has expertise in adolescent health and young women’s tobacco use. Her research addresses gender and the visual culture of youth and substance use prevention campaigns. Email:

Dr. Gayl Sarbit

Gayl Sarbit, PhD, MEd

Knowledge Broker, Families Controlling and Eliminating Tobacco (FACET) research program, Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, UBC

Dr. Sarbit has extensive expertise in education and research, and is focused on knowledge creation and translation to support the development of gender-sensitive tobacco reduction and cessation approaches. She facilitates interactions between researchers, decision makers and knowledge users in order to further understandings about each others’ goals and professional cultures, to provide opportunities for influencing each others’ work and to build new partnerships for promoting the use of research-based evidence. Email:

Community Partners

  • PHSAProvincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities in the province of British Columbia. PHSA’s primary role is to ensure that BC residents have access to a coordinated network of high-quality specialized health care services.
  • VCHVancouver Coastal Health provides a full range of health care services ranging from hospital treatment to community-based residential, home health, mental health and public health services. They have recently established the Tobacco Dependence Clinic.
  • CACThe Clean Air Coalition of BC (CAC), which is comprised of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. & Yukon and the BC Lung Association, is committed to reducing the harm caused by tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Canadian Cancer SocietyCanadian Cancer Society (BC and the Yukon) is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life for people living with cancer.
  • BC ThoracicBC Thoracic Surgery Program aims to establish examplary standards of thoracic surgical care for all four million citizens of British Columbia. The program is also strongly committed to strengthening smoking cessation.
  • Interior Health AuthorityInterior Health Authority serves rural communities and small to mid-sized cities through out southeastern BC. The primary role is to promote healthy lifestyles and provide needed health services in a timely, caring and efficient manner, to the highest professional and quality standards.
  • Health and Wellness University of British Columbia – Okanagan Student Health and Wellness’s primary goal is to promote wellbeing and prevent injury and illness of students.