European Regulatory Science on Tobacco: Policy implementation to reduce lung diseases (EUREST-PLUS)

Written by Constantine Vardavas on 15 October 2018 in Opinion Plus
Opinion Plus

Outcomes of the H2020 EUREST-PLUS project will be presented on October 18, 2018 at the European Parliament in Brussels

Photo credit: EUREST-PLUS


The European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) (2014/40/EU), which entered into force in 2014 and came into effect in May 2016, aims to mitigate the burden of tobacco morbidity and mortality and improve the internal market for tobacco in the EU.

Articles of the EU TPD, along with its Implementing Acts, include - but are not limited to - tobacco product regulation as it relates to ingredients, additives, packaging, labelling, reporting, as well as aspects related to novel tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

In order to fully operationalise the EU TPD, and therefore maximise its population level impact, it is expected that the foundational elements of the TPD, amidst the ever-changing tobacco and nicotine product sectors, will be iteratively shaped by the emergence of new scientific evidence.


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In light of this, the mission of the European Commission-funded Horizon2020 project entitled “European Regulatory Science on Tobacco: Policy implementation to reduce lung diseases” (EUREST-PLUS-HCO-06-2015), is to monitor and evaluate the TPD within the context of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) ratification at a European level.

To achieve this, the EUREST-PLUS project has four core objectives. Firstly, to evaluate the psycho-social and behavioural impact of TPD implementation and FCTC implementation, through the creation of a cohort of adult smokers in six EU Member States, using the methodology of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Project.

Secondly, to assess support for TPD implementation through secondary dataset analyses of the 2015 Special Eurobarometer on Tobacco Survey (SETS). Thirdly, to document changes in e-cigarette product parameters following TPD implementation of Article 20 of the TPD.

And fourthly, to enhance innovative joint research collaborations on chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and in vulnerable populations in high-income countries (HICs), a key priority of the Global Alliance for Chronic Disease (GACD) outlined in the call.

"In order to fully operationalise the EU TPD, and therefore maximise its population level impact, it is expected that the foundational elements of the TPD, amidst the ever-changing tobacco and nicotine product sectors, will be iteratively shaped by the emergence of new scientific evidence"

EUREST-PLUS is designed to generate strong inferences about the effectiveness of tobacco control policies, specifically the EU TPD, as well as to elucidate the mechanisms and factors by which policy implementation translates to population impact.

Results from EUREST-PLUS have potential global implications for the implementation of innovative tobacco control policies and its impact on the prevention of lung diseases.

Findings from the EUREST-PLUS ITC cohort study will be presented for the first time on October 18, 2018, at the European Parliament event entitled “H2020 funding for Tobacco Control: Scaling up for the prevention of lung diseases in the EU” by Coordinator Prof Constantine Vardavas.

The event, sponsored by the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) and hosted by French MEP Gilles Pargneaux, embodies a central objective of EUREST-PLUS: to enhance innovative joint research collaborations by bringing together key stakeholders in the field of tobacco control in the EU.

The importance of the role of tobacco control research in Europe will be highlighted by Commissioner Andriukaitis as well as representatives from DG SANTÉ, DG RTD, and the Global Alliance on Chronic Disease. The European Respiratory Society and the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention will also discuss the burden of tobacco and lung diseases in Europe.

Updates on the following successful H2020 projects funded by the EC under the GACD call for the prevention of lung diseases will be presented: EUREST-PLUS: European Regulatory Science on Tobacco: Policy implementation to reduce lung diseases; TackSHS: Tackling second-hand tobacco smoke and e-cigarette emissions; Smoke Free Brain: Multidisciplinary tools for improving the efficacy of public prevention measures against smoking; Tobacco cessation within TB programmes: A ‘real world’ solution for countries with dual burden of disease, and finally, FRESH AIR: Free respiratory evaluation and smoke-exposure reduction by primary health care integrated groups.

The ERS-ENSP event “H2020 funding for Tobacco Control: Scaling up for the prevention of lung diseases in the EU” hosted by MEP Gilles Pargneaux will take place on Thursday 18th October 2018 at the European Parliament in Brussels from 12:00 to 14:45 in room A3G-35. Register here.

About the author

Professor Constantine Vardavas from the European Network on Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) is the EUREST-PLUS coordinator

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