2020 Annual SRNT-E Conference

15th - 17th Sep 2020

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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I. Basic Science/PreClinical

Prof. Rachel Tyndale, Toronto, Canada

Title: "Translating the rate of nicotine metabolism to Genetic Risk Scores: Across Ancestries and Application to Clinical Trial Data"

Rachel Tyndale PhD is head of Pharmacogenetics at the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Canada Research Chair in Pharmacogenomics. She is a Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology & Toxicology, and Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Tyndale focuses on sources of variation between individuals in drug response in the clinical area of addictions and mental health. Dr. Tyndale seeks to identify and understand risk factors, and underlying mechanisms, in substance dependence and to implement approaches to personalize treatment. Her laboratory program also has a major interest in understanding how interindividual variation in drug metabolizing enzymes within the brain alter drug and toxin effects.

Dr. Tyndale sits on numerous scientific advisory boards, editorial boards, chaired NIH’s PharmacoGenomics Research Network (PGRN.org), and was a lead on the Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco Cessation. Dr. Tyndale has supervised over 100 scientists, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students, published over 400 papers and book chapters, given over 250 invited presentations and received over 50 awards in clinical and basic pharmacology, neuroscience and genetics.

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II. Clinical

Prof. Nancy Rigotti, Boston, USA

Title: pending

Dr. Rigotti is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and founding director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Tobacco Research and Treatment Center. A board-certified general internist, Dr. Rigotti is internationally known for her research to reduce the health burden of tobacco use by evaluating tobacco cessation treatments and promoting their adoption in health care settings, both inpatient and outpatient. Dr. Rigotti was a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine panel that produced the landmark 2018 report, Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes. Her current work includes addressing the role of e-cigarettes for tobacco smoking cessation and harm reduction.

Dr. Rigotti has authored over 300 publications and served as President of the Society for Research in Nicotine and Tobacco and as President of the Society of General Internal Medicine, which in 2015 awarded her its highest research award the John Eisenberg National Award for Career Achievement in Research. She is an elected member of the American Association of Physicians and a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Medical School. 

In January 2022, Dr. Rigotti will become the Director of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center and Associate Director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she will also hold the Steven Schroeder Distinguished Professorship of Health and Health Care at UCSF.

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III. Public health

Prof. Ann McNeill, London, UK

Title: "England’s approach to e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products: managing risks and benefits"

Ann McNeill is a Professor of Tobacco Addiction at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London, where she established and leads the Nicotine Research Group. Ann has worked in tobacco research since the mid 1980s and has been at the heart of developing the evidence base for nicotine and tobacco control policy in the UK and internationally. For her accomplishments, she was awarded the WHO World No Tobacco Day Tobacco Control Medal in 1998, and a fellow of the international Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) in 2019, and the SRNT Doll-Wynder award in 2019/2020. Ann was also made an National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator in 2019.

Professor McNeill has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers and numerous national and governmental reports. Since 2015, she has been named among the global top 1% of most cited researchers in her field by Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics. Ann’s research spans prevention, cessation and harm reduction. Recently, she has led five evidence reviews on e-cigarettes commissioned by Public Health England and since 1992, she has contributed to several reports by the Royal College of Physicians in England on aspects of smoking and tobacco. In addition, she has demonstrated a sustained interest in smoking and inequalities, particularly reducing smoking among those with mental health problems. Ann also co-chairs the national Mental Health & Smoking Partnership.

Ann is also Vice Dean (Culture, Diversity & Inclusion) at the IoPPN where she leads faculty-wide initiatives to foster an inclusive and supportive culture. She chairs the faculty Self-Assessment Team which currently has an active membership of around 50 academic, research and professional service staff as well as student representatives. She has also established working groups and champions to lead initiatives on specific protected characteristics. Ann mentors extensively, including researchers in and from low and middle income countries.

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IV. Policy/Economy

Prof. Joachim Marti, Lausanne, Switzerland

Title: “The economics of tobacco regulation”

Prof. Joachim Marti is an Associate Professor in health economics at the University Center for Primary Care and Public Health (Unisanté), University of Lausanne, Switzerland. After completing his PhD in public economics focused on smoking behaviour and tobacco regulation at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, he pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale School of Public Health and then held teaching and research positions at the University of Leeds and at the Centre for Health Policy at Imperial College London.

Joachim has worked on the empirical evaluation of tobacco control interventions, including smoking bans, tobacco control expenditures, and taxation. Some of his work also focused on the interaction between insurance coverage, smoking decisions, and use of smoking cessation drugs. In another strand of work, he applied stated preferences methods, including discrete choice experiments, to investigate preferences for various nicotine-delivery products, including e-cigarettes and NRTs.

More generally, his research looks at the efficiency and equity impact of health care interventions and policies using large administrative datasets, explores the use of behavioural economics to inform health policy, and investigates new health care delivery and financing models.  

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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