US National Cancer Institute grants US $10 million for global e-cigarette impact research


On December 9, it was reported that the University of Waterloo in Canada was one of the main institutions of a five-year, US $10 million international research funded by the National Cancer Institute of the United States.

This multicenter study will assess the behavioral and long-term health impacts of different regulatory methods for e-cigarettes and other new nicotine products on youth and adults in seven countries.
With the emergence of electronic cigarettes, heated tobacco products and other new nicotine products, in addition to cigarettes and cigars, the tobacco product market has expanded rapidly in the past decade. Countries around the world have adopted different regulatory methods for these new products. Some governments encourage smokers who cannot quit smoking to use these products, while others have adopted stricter policies to reduce the use of non smoking youth who may be addicted.

This five-year study is based on the work of the International Tobacco Control Policy Assessment Project (ITC Project), which has been studying the impact of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a health treaty, for nearly 20 years and has been adopted by more than 180 countries to reduce the global harm of tobacco use. The ITC project has conducted research in 31 countries/regions, and has established an evidence base to support the FCTC policy, including health warnings, tobacco taxes, clean indoor air rules and plain/standardized packaging.

Geoffrey Fong, founder and chief researcher of ITC project, is co leading the national cohort study of adult smokers, e-cigarette users and dual users (for example, people who smoke and smoke e-cigarettes at the same time) in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea - these countries Electronic cigarettes and other new nicotine products, such as heated tobacco products, are handled in a very different way.

"Governments around the world need data to guide an evidence-based approach to regulating tobacco products," said Fang, a psychology professor at the University of Waterloo. "So far, most people have speculated about the impact of the policy on electronic cigarettes and other new nicotine products. The project enables us to compare the behavior and potential future health impact of different regulatory strategies being implemented in different countries. These strategies have great potential to provide evidence-based methods for electronic cigarettes and other new nicotine products."

David Hammond, professor of public health and research chairman of the University of Waterloo School of Public Health Sciences, will lead a survey of young people in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The survey will investigate smoking and trends in smoking and electronic smoking among young smokers.

"Understanding the use of these products among young people and adults is crucial to understanding which policies are most effective in reducing tobacco use and curbing young people's absorption of e-cigarettes," Hammond said. "The timing of this project is ideal because the policies of Canada and other countries are still evolving."

Waterloo will also lead the data collection design and management of the entire research site under the guidance of Professor Mary Thompson and Professor Wu Changbao, honorary professors of the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences.

"This project will put Waterloo and our partners at the forefront of methods to examine the changes in the use patterns of various nicotine products over time and to compare data on different policy approaches adopted by different countries." Thompson said.

Other cooperative institutions include South Carolina Medical University, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, the Franklin Biomedical Institute of Carlion, Virginia Tech, the University of South Carolina, King's College London and the University of Melbourne.

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