20th Annual SRNT-E Conference

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Conference Programme

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Download the 'At a glance' agenda below

The full PDF programme (inluding abstracts) is available for download here. You can also access the interactive programme on our conference platform Whova here.

The keynote speakers are programmed as follows, with all times in Cental European Summer Time (CEST):

17 September

12:00-12:45 (CEST) - Prof. Linda Bauld, chaired by Prof. Lynne Dawkins

15:15-16:00 (CEST) - Prof. Daniel Kotz, chaired by Prof. Ute Mons

18 September

12:00-12:45 (CEST) - Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, chaired by Prof. Lion Shahab

15:15-16:00 (CEST) - Prof. Billie Bonevski, chaired by Prof. Caitlin Notley

Read more about the topic of each keynote under 'Keynote Speakers' below.

Keynote Speakers

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Public health/Policy

Prof. Linda Bauld, Edinburgh, UK

Title: "Covid-19 and tobacco control: Aligning communicable and non-communicable disease responses"

Linda Bauld is the Bruce and John Usher Professor of Public Health in the Usher Institute, College of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Linda is a behavioural scientist with a PhD in social policy whose research focuses on two main areas: the evaluation of complex interventions to improve health, and how research can inform public health policy. Since 2014, she has combined her academic role with a secondment to Cancer Research UK where she holds the CRUK/BUPA Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention. Linda is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Academy of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Public Health. She leads SPECTRUM, a multi-university, multi-agency Consortium that is the successor to the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, and TCCP, a tobacco control capacity building programme in Africa and South Asia. In 2020 TCCP expanded to focus on how tobacco control programmes in low and middle income countries were affected by and responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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Prof. Daniel Kotz, Düsseldorf, Germany

Title: “Sources of bias in tobacco research trials and recommendations for reporting and mitigation”

Prof. Dr. Daniel Kotz is professor in addiction research and clinical epidemiology at the Institute of General Practice, Centre for Health and Society, Medical Faculty of the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany. He also holds research affiliations with Maastricht University, University College London, and the University of Edinburgh. He was trained as a physiotherapist, health scientist, and epidemiologist. His main areas of research are tobacco addiction (use of tobacco and alternative nicotine delivery systems in populations, effectiveness and safety of behavioural and pharmacological treatments in clinical care), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (prediction modelling, early detection, prevention) and clinical epidemiology (research methodology and reporting). He has published over 130 scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals (H-Index = 24), including leading journals in the categories general medicine (Lancet, JAMA Internal Medicine), respiratory medicine (Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Thorax, Chest, European Respiratory Journal), and substance abuse/public health (Addiction, Tobacco Control). He is Senior Editor of Addiction, Editorial Board member of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Past-President of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Europe, and member of the International Primary Care Research Leadership Programme.

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Basic science/Pre Clinical

Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, Patras, Greece

Title: Nicotine and COVID-19: a possible, unexpected link?

Konstantinos Farsalinos, MD, MPH is a physician and senior researcher at the University of Patras and the School of Public Health-University of West Attica in Greece. He has been conducting laboratory, clinical and epidemiological research on smoking, tobacco harm reduction and e-cigarettes as principal investigator since 2011. He authored the first systematic review on e-cigarette safety/risk profile, published in 2014. Additionally, he has performed researched and published studies on heated tobacco products. His findings have been presented in major international scientific congresses and his studies were used in preparing the regulatory framework on e-cigarettes by the European Union. As of early 2020, he has published more than 85 studies and articles in international peer-reviewed scientific journals about smoking, tobacco harm reduction and alternative-to-smoking nicotine products. He was the handling editor and author of a book titled "Analytical assessment of e-cigarettes", published by Elsevier in 2017. He was recently declared a Highly Cited Researcher 2019 by the Web of Science, a list of researchers with the highest impact in global science in 21 scientific fields in the past decade.

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Prof. Billie Bonevski, Newcastle, Australia

Title: “Encouraging the provision of smoking cessation support in mental health and drug and alcohol clinics: Mission impossible?”

Billie is a health behaviour scientist and Women in Science Chair at the University of Newcastle, Australia and Conjoint Professor at the University of Queensland. She is also the current elected AAOLA (Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America) representative on the SRNT Board and was the Founding President of the SRNT Oceania chapter. Billie is interested in developing ways to reduce smoking among populations with high smoking prevalence rates in Australia including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people who experience mental ill health, other substance use and homelessness. Her research is supported by large nationally competitive grants, international collaborators, and partnerships with service providers. She is passionate about all forms of equity and currently leads her university’s Athena SWAN program for gender equity.

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Posters and Symposia

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Please see the full conference programme for information on posters, which can be downloaded from here.

Confirmed symposia:

Thursday 17th September 13.00-14.30 (CEST)

Evaluating the process and outcomes of implementing a national smokefree prisons policy across Scotland: study findings and lessons for other jurisdictions and high smoking prevalence groups

Objectives: To present findings from two complementary studies of tobacco and e-cigarette use in prison. The first is a multi-methods, 3-Phase comprehensive evaluation of the development, preparation for, implementation and outcomes of smokefree policy across Scotland’s prison system, known as the Tobacco in Prisons (TIPs) study. The second is a novel study of e-cigarette use in the prison population before and after implementation of the smokefree policy. Through these studies, we believe we provide the most in-depth evaluation internationally of a smokefree prison policy to date.  This evidence can inform transferable insights for other jurisdictions and high-smoking prevalence populations. 

By presenting papers using different methods (objective measurements of secondhand smoke (SHS); qualitative focus group/interview data and surveys with people in custody and prison staff; prisoner purchasing data), the workshop will demonstrate the success of implementing smokefree prison policy in Scotland and the factors contributing to this success and related outcomes. Within the session the authors will also discuss some of the challenging issues and decisions which other jurisdictions may face when considering smokefree policy.

The format of the workshop will comprise oral presentations by members of the study teams, followed by commentary by the discussant. It will begin with a brief overview of: a) the rationale for, and challenges of, implementing smokefree policies in the prison context; and b) the methods used during the studies. There will then be presentations examining: experiences and processes of implementing the smokefree prison policy in Scotland; the positive and negative consequences of making prisons smokefree; and use of e-cigarettes in the prison population.

Presenters: Dr Ashley Brown, Professor Kate Hunt, Dr Catherine Best

Discussant: Professor Linda Bauld

Friday 18th September 13.00-14.30 (CEST)

Smoking, vaping and COVID-19

There is substantial uncertainty around the impact of tobacco and nicotine use on COVID-19. On the one hand, there are good a priori reasons to assume that tobacco and vaping should be detrimental for infection, disease severity and mortality due to behavioural factors (frequent hand-to-mouth movement), actions on the immune system and increased likelihood of developing other diseases linked to worse COVID-19 outcomes. On the other hand, emerging evidence suggests lower than expected infection rates among smokers and lower smoking rates among those hospitalised with Covid-19, with little known about vaping. This has resulted in trials looking at the efficacy of nicotine use as a COVID-19 treatment. This symposium will provide an overview of current knowledge on how smoking and vaping impacts COVID-19 and vice versa to inform researchers and provide some guidance to policy makers and clinicians. Dr Perski will start by presenting the results of a living rapid review on the association of tobacco and nicotine use with SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalisation and mortality from COVID-19. Given limitations in the current available evidence, posing considerable interpretational problems, Mr Simons will go on to describe results of a sizable case-control study from a single UK hospital site to elucidate the association between smoking and hospitalisation for COVID-19 using historic respiratory viral infections as a control. Dr Jackson will present data from a large online survey on the association of smoking with self-reported COVID-19 infection as well as with adherence to guidelines and worry about COVID-19, with a focus on socio-economic inequalities. Lastly, given the lack of data in this area, Dr Kale will present results from another online survey to assess the association of vaping with self-reported COVID-19 infection as well as associated changes in vaping behaviour due to COVID-19 related concerns and risk perceptions. Professor Brown will act as discussant for this symposium, bringing together results across these different studies, to explore implications for policy and practice when it comes to dealing with tobacco and nicotine use during this pandemic.

Presenters: Dr Olga Perski, David Simons, Dr Sarah E. Jackson, Dr Dimitra Kale

Discussant: Professor Jamie Brown

Friday 18th September 16.15-17.40 (CEST)

E-cigarettes and the clinical encounter

The clinical encounter is a key opportunity to promote smoking cessation, yet physicians inconsistently provide best-practices cessation advice due to lack of time, knowledge, skills, and confidence. Counseling smokers about cessation is complicated by smokers’ increasing use of e-cigarettes for cessation and the uncertainty surrounding their efficacy and health consequences. Furthermore, most smokers who use e-cigarettes do not switch completely to e-cigarettes, whether for harm reduction or as a step towards cessation. This symposium brings together studies of smokers and physicians across countries in order to characterize discussions about e-cigarettes in clinical encounters, results from an intervention to encourage these discussions in the context of cessation assistance, and to understand the consequences of these discussions.  Salloum will discuss results from a discrete choice experiment with primary care practitioners in the US, describing the physician and patient characteristics that drive physician recommendations for using e-cigarettes in the United States, where physician guidelines do not recommend e-cigarettes for cessation. Jackson will describe results from ongoing surveys with smokers in the UK – where health authorities have begun to embrace a harm reduction approach to e-cigarettes for established smokers - to describe trends in e-cigarette use recommendations, frequency of recommendation relative to other cessation methods, and their association with smoking cessation behaviors. Cho’s longitudinal study of smokers in four countries with contrasting regulatory environments (UK, US, Canada, Australia) examines trajectories in tobacco product use as a function of physician discussions about and recommendations to use e-cigarettes. Finally, Strayer will discuss results from a pre/post assessment of a clinic-based, iPad-delivered decision aid that tailors information to smokers about smoking cessation and e-cigarettes based on their quit intentions and e-cigarette use. Overall, these studies illustrate the panorama and complexity of the intersection between the clinical encounter, e-cigarettes, and smoking across regulatory environments.

Presenters: Dr Ramzi Salloum, Dr Sarah E. Jackson, Dr Yoo Jin Cho, Dr Scott Strayer

Discussant: Dr James F. Thrasher