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Research Faculty

Derek Yee Tak CHEUNG

Dr Derek Cheung is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He received his Bachelor of Social Sciences (Major in Statistics) and M.Phil. from HKU; and Ph.D. from the Melbourne School of Population Health in the University of Melbourne. 

Before joining the School of Nursing, he has received post-doctoral training in the School of Public Health of HKU, where he studied the effectiveness of various smoking cessation interventions including medication, counseling, brief advice, financial incentives and social media. He is experienced in designing and conducting randomized controlled trials in various community and clinical settings. He is currently the key investigator of several tobacco-related projects including opinion survey on tobacco control policy, use of smartphone Apps and exercise for smoking cessation, health promotion at smoking hotspots, and physician-delivered smoking cessation advice in the Guangdong province of China.

His research interests also include suicidal epidemiology and spatial analysis. His PhD thesis looked into the spatial-temporal clustering of suicides in Australia, suicide hotspots and the associated factors. He is now studying youth risk behaviors including non-suicidal self-harm, suicidal behaviour and substance use with in-school survey data. He has published more than 31 articles in peer-reviewed journals including The Journal of Pediatrics, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Social Science and Medicine, and Addictive Behavior.

  1. Smoking cessation trial
  2. Tobacco control policy
  3. E-health intervention
Funding Scheme Project Title Approved Amount (HK$)
Early Career Scheme (ECS), Research Grants Council Normalization of alcohol drinking due to exposure to alcohol marketing in young adults: a prospective study with ecological momentary assessment 776,100
Health Medical Research Fund, Food and Health Bureau Development and a pilot randomized controlled trial of a brief alcohol intervention during smoking cessation treatment delivered by healthcare professionals 100,000
The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund, HKSAR government Research service and consultancy for the testing ground of the Gerontechnology Platform 3,598,479
Seed Fund for Basic Research, HKU Exploration of changes in smoker identity and smoking normalization belief in unassisted quitters of tobacco 105,766
Department of Health, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office A training package for healthcare professionals to deliver brief advice on smoking cessation and relevant support materials 1,200,000
Health Medical Research Fund, Research Fellowship Scheme Low-intensity ecological momentary assessment (EMA) for smoking cessation intervention and tobacco control policy evaluation: A randomized controlled trial nested within an EMA-based observational study 1,083,731
HKU Start-up Fund Evaluation of tobacco use, smoking cessation and tobacco control policy: secondary data analysis of population-based cross-sectional surveys 1,000,000
Seed Fund for Basic Research, HKU Ecological momentary assessment for the exposure to alcohol advertisements in university students 111,050
Health Care and Promotion Scheme, Food and Health Bureau Use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) sample and brief smoking cessation advice for recruiting smokers to smoking cessation services and motivating quit attempts 1,200,000
Health and Medical Research Fund Effectiveness of WhatsApp online group discussion for smoking relapse prevention: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial 967,620
  1. Cheung YT, Jiang N, Jiang CQ, Zhuang RS, Gao WH, Zhou J, Lu JH, Li H, Wang JF, Lai YS, Sun JS. Physicians’ very brief (30‚Äźsecond) intervention for smoking cessation on 13,671 smokers in China: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Addiction. 2020 Sep 12. Available from: doi:10.1111/add.15262
  2. Cheung YT*, Chan CH, Ho KS, Fok WY, Conway M, Wong CK, Li WH, Wang MP, Lam TH. Effectiveness of WhatsApp online group discussion for smoking relapse prevention: protocol for a pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Addiction. 2020 Feb 27; 115(9):1777-85. Available from: doi:10.1111/add.15027
  3. Cheung YT, Lam TH, Chan CH, Ho KS, Fok WY, Wang MP, Li WH. Brief handgrip and isometric exercise intervention for smoking cessation: A pilot randomized trial. Addictive Behaviors. 2020 Jan;100:106119. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.106119
  4. Cheung YT, Cheung Li WH, Wang MP, Lam TH. Delivery of a nicotine replacement therapy sample at outdoor smoking hotspots for promoting quit attempts: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 2020 Sep;22(9):1468-75. Available from: doi:10.1093/ntr/ntz138
  5. Cheung YT, Weng X, Wang MP, Ho SY, Kwong AC, Lai VW, Lam TH. Effect of prepaid and promised financial incentive on follow-up survey response in cigarette smokers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 2019 Jul 4;19:138. Available from: doi:10.1186/s12874-019-0786-9
  6. Cheung YT*, Lam TH, Li WH, Wang MP, Chan SS. Feasibility, efficacy, and cost analysis of promoting smoking cessation at outdoor smoking “hotspots”: a pre-post Study. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 2018 Dec;20(12):1519-24. Available from: doi:10.1093/ntr/ntx147
  7. Cheung YT, Ho SY, Wang MP, Kwong A, Lai V, Lam TH. Pro-smoking responses and attitudes due to point-of-sale tobacco displays in never smokers: a cross-sectional study in Hong Kong. Tobacco Induced Diseases. 2018;16. Available from: doi:10.18332/tid/92585
  8. Chan SS, Cheung YT*, Fong DY, Emmons K, Leung AY, Leung DY, Lam TH. Family-based smoking cessation intervention for smoking fathers and nonsmoking mothers with a child: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2017 Mar;182:260-6.e4. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.11.021
  9. Cheung YT*, Chan CH, Lai CK, Chan WF, Wang MP, Li HC, Chan SS, Lam TH. Using WhatsApp and Facebook online social groups for smoking relapse prevention for recent quitters: a pilot pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2015 Oct 22;17(10):e238. Available from: doi:10.2196/jmir.4829
  10. Chan SS, Cheung YT*, Leung DY, Mak YW, Leung GM, Lam TH. Secondhand smoke exposure and maternal action to protect children from secondhand smoke: pre-and post-smokefree legislation in Hong Kong. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 28;9(8):e105781. Available from: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105781
  11. Cheung YT*, Spittal MJ, Williamson MK, Tung SJ, Pirkis J. Predictors of suicides occurring within suicide clusters in Australia, 2004–2008. Social Science & Medicine. 2014 Oct;118:135-42. Available from: doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.08.005
  • 2019
Awarded the "Excellent Health Promotion Project Award" by the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF), Food and Health Bureau
  • 2015

Awarded the best poster award in The 6th Hong Kong International Nursing Forum, School of Nursing, the University of Hong Kong