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AUB Team Receive Support of Tobacco Control Research

The American University of Beirut Tobacco Control Research Group (AUB -TCRG) received a two-year grant of $198,258 from the International Development Research Center-Research for International Tobacco Control (IDRC-RITC) to support tobacco control research, dissemination and networking in Lebanon and the region, a university statement said on Tuesday.

Housed in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Center for Research on Population and Health and led by assistant professor Rima Nakkash, the project will use the grant to support the dissemination of information at the local level, the translation of its findings into policy, and the development of a tobacco control regional research network.

At the local level, research will build support for policy change. Dissemination, with the support of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs will, for example, target the public on the effects of narghileh smoking on health, and policy makers on best practice for tobacco control policies in order to contribute, potentially, toward moving the policy debate to the forefront of the national agenda.

At the regional level, the AUB-TCRG will build a research network to contribute to the evidence base on tobacco control in the region in order to enrich discussions on tobacco control research and promote future joint research projects.

The AUB-TCRG, established in 1999 with a grant from the IDRC-RITC, is a multidisciplinary team of professionals in medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics, health behavior, health policy, health management, chemistry and engineering. The group has received grants from RITC and others to describe narghileh use and the epidemiology related to use among the youth, investigate the components of smoke, assess the long-term impact of use, understand the acceptability of use among women, compare parent and child views toward use, identify biomarkers of use, understand public attitudes to a variety of potential legislation for tobacco control, and describe the policy environment surrounding tobacco control in Lebanon.

The expertise of the AUB team has filled a research gap as demonstrated in the publication of an IDRC monograph on the results of epidemiologic research, the contribution of this research to the WHO advisory note against waterpipe smoking, the active participation of members of the group in the second and third WHO Conference of Parties meeting, the appointment of a member of the group as chairman of the Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation of the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative, and the appointment of several members to Lebanon’s National Committee for Tobacco Control.

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