Catania Conversation CC is a new project of Centre of Excellence for the acceleration of Harm Reduction (CoEHAR) which brings together journalists, scientists and opinion leaders from all over the world to fill gaps in communication around Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR).
The “CC” will develop an online platform to create an international network of journalists and communicators specialized in tobacco research and tobacco control communication that will help propagate smoking harm reduction in an effective manner. It will be a public agency for the selection and research of scientific news relating to smoking harm reduction.
On the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day 2020, CoEHAR will organize an Online Masterclass on 29th May 2020 dedicated to introduce Journalists, Scientists and Opinion Leaders to tobacco harm reduction principle and educate them on the views of the international scientific community.
Smoking kills more than 8 million people a year and cigarette packets abundantly announce its hazards. However, even today, more people die from tobacco smoking and consumption than from tuberculosis (TB), HIV/Aids and road accidents combined.
Less harmful alternatives to cigarettes are available but regulatory frameworks and public opinion are caught between doubt and data. In some cases, lobbies deliberately foist wrong and unscientific information on an unsuspecting public.
The tobacco control scene itself is multifaceted, comprising growers, traders, workers, industries and of course the more visible sectors of the product itself. Each has a story to tell.
In all cases they mirror the developmental and economic trajectories of countries. From the flashy e-cigarettes in rich countries to its country cousin the beedi and khaini in developing countries, the story of tobacco rarely disappoints the media.
However, only part of the story – the medical part – is known to most and it can be argued that that too is skewed. For example, most people are unaware that safer alternatives to cigarette smoking such as harm-reducing e-cigarettes are available as an option to quit or limit the damage.
Towards closing this information gap and building a community of journalists, thinkers and writers, the CoEHAR based in University of Catania in Italy is launching a multi-pronged communications initiative called the Catania Conversation (CC).
The principle aim of this effort is to ensure that right and verifiable information reaches the media at large. Both public health and journalism are public goods. They have to be publicly verified and accepted.
The only way to counter misinformation is to inject accountability in information gathering and propagation at every step – from research of journalists to news desks to editors and finally the readers and consumers of news.
The event will be organize in occasion or the World No Tobacco Day to increase awareness the negative impact that tobacco has!
Due to the lockdown situation that followed COVID19, the convention will be a webinar on line and it is accessible to a limited number of participants.