Spotlight on: EUREST PLUS (European Regulatory Science on Tobacco:
Policy implementation to reduce lung diseases)
Dr. Constantine Vardavas is very active in European Regulatory Science and public policy, including the scientific basis for the European Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). He is the coordinator of many projects funded by the European Commission (EC) -including Horizon2020, DG SANTE Tenders and CHAFEA Health Programme. He works on the GACD funded EUREST PLUS project
Q1. What do you hope to achieve through your research?
Efforts to reduce the devastation of tobacco-related deaths and illness in the EU consist of its newly adopted binding legislation, the TPD, the first-ever health treaty. The main objective of EUREST-PLUS is to monitor and evaluate the impact of the TPD within the context of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) ratification at the EU level. These two instruments provide the EU Member States (MS) with the framework of actions that, if appropriately implemented, would greatly reduce tobacco use initiation, increase cessation efforts, and reduce demand for tobacco products.
Through a 13-partner collaboration, EUREST-PLUS aims to evaluate the psychosocial and behavioural impact of TPD and FCTC implementation, assess support for TPD implementation, document changes in e-cigarette product parameters and enhance innovative joint research collaborations.
Q2. Tell us a little more about the project you are working on.
EUREST-PLUS represents a significant advancement beyond the state of the art of tobacco control and regulation science in the EU, by supporting and building upon existing tobacco control initiatives.
The project takes the current best practice system for tobacco use surveillance—the Special Eurobarometer on Tobacco Surveys (SETS)—and maximizes the evidence that can be obtained from this plethora of data.
EUREST-PLUS will evaluate fully operational policies across the EU, which impact a population of approximately 500 million. The project also contributes to new realms of research by using innovative approaches to document changes in e-cigarette product parameters.
Lastly, EUREST-PLUS is the quintessence of joint research collaboration, essential to tackling chronic diseases in the EU and around the globe.
Q3. How has being part of GACD helped your research?
GACD was instrumental in making EUREST-PLUS a reality by launching the call for the Prevention and Treatment of Lung Diseases. Since then, GACD has been invaluable to our work through helping us build a scientific network, supporting our research goals and offering us dissemination opportunities. We trust that this fruitful collaboration will continue throughout EUREST-PLUS and beyond.
Q4. What do you enjoy most about your work?
It is incredible to work with so many other researchers and together tackle the major public health issues that we face. It is amazing what perseverance and team spirit can do to improve population health.
Q5. Apart from the project, what are your other passions in life?
One of my greatest passions is facilitating collaboration, as it through building networks and communities that we can learn from each other and achieve great work.
Q6. Can you name someone who has inspired you in your life and work?
There are countless people who have inspired my life and work, most notably my previous mentors, collaborators, and junior team members.