To combat the rise of tobacco use and associated noncommunicable disease in Eurasia, AECA co-sponsored the first Russian ‘Health or Tobacco’ Forum in 2007, convening international experts to encourage the nation to join the global anti-tobacco movement. This event served as the foundation of ongoing collaboration with Russian tobacco control experts, eventually leading to the adoption of several national tobacco control policies, including smoke-free public zoning, bans on direct advertising, and strict package labeling requirements.
Capacity built during this time within scientific and governmental agencies also resulted in Russia’s adoption of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), providing further support to the nation’s tobacco control programs.
Beyond the public health scope of global tobacco control, AECA has pursued new scientific knowledge in the field of smoking cessation and healthcare communications. AECA, with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fogarty, built collaborations between U.S. and Russian cancer centers to examine several key areas of tobacco-related research, including persistent smoking among cancer patients and physician sentiments towards cessation training.
These efforts led to publication of “Correlates of continued tobacco use and intention to quit smoking among Russian cancer patients” in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.