Knowledge•Action•Change (KAC), the organization behind the Global Nicotine Forum (GNF) held annually in Poland, has launched its 2nd Global Scholarship program focused on tobacco harm reduction.

The program is said to be aimed at building research capacity in the field of tobacco harm reduction; developing and promoting the evidence base; raising awareness of research and its implications for public health policy; enabling consumers to make more informed personal health choices; and improving the implementation and understanding of tobacco harm reduction.

In a note posted on its website, KAC said that recent years had seen advances in the scientific understanding of products used for tobacco harm reduction, including laboratory-based and clinical studies of their effects and safety, behavioural studies of how and why they are used in different populations and contexts, epidemiological studies into patterns of use, and the relationship between the use of these products and changes in tobacco smoking. ‘There is an increasing understanding of the range of appropriate and effective evidence-based regulation and standards for harm reduction products, and of harm reduction strategies and policies,’ the note said.

‘However, on a global basis scientific capacity for research on tobacco harm reduction and related products is not evenly distributed, and there is considerable variation in the use of evidence to establish effective and appropriate public health policies.

‘In addition, despite there being strong evidence for the effectiveness of a tobacco harm reduction approach, public understanding of the evidence base and its implications for both policy and personal health choices is limited.

‘This scholarship program aims to redress this imbalance. We expect proposals to be modest but achievable: they will be assessed for their potential significance in advancing the field.’

KAC said it wanted people to learn from GFN and to have the opportunity to implement this learning in their home countries.

‘There will be 20 scholarships for the year, with funds available to support agreed projects up to the value of $10,000.

‘The scholarships are a K•A•C initiative funded by a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW).

‘The programme was independently designed by and is run by K•A•C.

‘Some projects may be included in future versions of the KAC publication The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction.’

The 2018 report, No Fire, No Smoke: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction, is due to be launched in the UK at the House of Commons on December 18.

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