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Catania, world capital of antismoking research: the CoEHAR mural

As a tangible demonstration of the gratitude towards the city that marked the beginning of the change, this morning CoEHAR presented the “CoEHAR Mural” along A.Doria Avenue (near INFN- Institute of Nuclear Physics). The mural is an artistic work created by the collective “MaleTinte”, thanks to the patronage of the Municipality of Catania and the Italian Anti-smoking League, LIAF, and the support of the BCC, Cooperative Credit Bank of Regalbuto and PPG Italy Group.

COEHAR NATIONAL CONFERENCE- MAY 31, 2022, “PALAZZO CENTRALE” OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CATANIA

The WHO World No Tobacco Day is observed every year on 31 May. CoEHAR, Center of Excellence for the acceleration of harm reduction, gives the city of Catania a mural to raise awareness on antismoking research

Catania, 27 May 2022– In the last decade, millions of smokers around the World realized that smoking is a deadly plague and decided to quit smoking definitely. Among them, many have managed to quit by switching to alternative nicotine delivery products that can reduce the smoking-related harm. We are witnessing an epochal revolution that marks a change, the beginning of a path towards the ultimate disappearance of conventional cigarettes.

More than 15 years ago, the ECLAT study, conducted by a team of scientists led by the foresight of prof. Riccardo Polosa, founder of the CoEHAR, Center of Excellence for the acceleration of harm reduction of the University of Catania, has been the first research in the world to evaluate the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes as an alternative method to quit smoking.

Since then, the University of Catania has become an international reference point for the continuous and authoritative production of scientific studies on tobacco harm reduction. Thanks to a tremendous effort, the University of Catania and Prof. Riccardo Polosa received the scientific Oscar for the research in the field of tobacco harm reduction. The University has been recognized as the most productive University in the world in this field.

As a tangible demonstration of the gratitude towards the city that has marked the beginning of the change, CoEHAR has presented today the “CoEHAR Mural” along A.Doria Avenue (near INFN- Institute of Nuclear Physics). The mural is an artistic work created by the collective “MaleTinte”, thanks to the patronage of the Municipality of Catania and the Italian Anti-smoking League, LIAF, and the support of BCC Cooperative Credit Bank of Regalbuto and PPG Italy Group.

The personalities present were: Francesco Priolo, Rector of the University of Catania; Riccardo Polosa, founder of the CoEHAR; Giovanni Li Volti, Director of the CoEHAR; Pippo Arcidiacono, Councilor for Health of the City of Catania; Sara Pettinato, President of the Health Commission of the City of Catania; Giuseppe Ferraro, Chief of Mayor staff; Lydia Giordano and the artists of the collective “MaleTinte”; Ezio Campagna, President of LIAF, Italian Anti-Smoking League; Arturo La Vignera, president of BCC Cooperative Credit Bank of Regalbuto (main sponsor of the murales) and Giuseppe Calabrese, Director of BCC; Alfio Platania, Manager of PPG Italy.

“Our University is internationally renewed for its activity in the field of scientific research. But scientific research should always pair with an intense and correct communication activity, focusing both on the technological transfer to the economic and entrepreneurial system, and on indicating behaviors, lifestyles and therapeutic strategies to the citizens- stated the rector of the University of Catania, Francesco Priolo– The creation of a mural is an initiative that relies on languages that can easily reach young people: it sends a clear message about a pathway towards smoking cessation or harm reduction. It is very important that the project has been inspired by the creative suggestions of the highschool students. This makes the message even more effective”.

We give our city a unique and precious legacy, a tangible testimony of our commitment in the fight against smoking and in promoting the reduction of smoking-related risk. We celebrate the World No Tobacco Day with a mural that encourages a change and invites people to adopt a healthier lifestyle” – said prof. Polosa.

The drawing graphically represents the pathway towards a smoke-free world. Nature, colors, smiles and people change radically. “A deadly, severe, heavy, sad world of gray loneliness and skeletal trees, factories and smoke on one side. On the other side, a new world of free senses to grasp the details and colours of the existing, possible transpositions of a reborn community. The vision of a future and a reality, of the probable and the possible, in a mural that seems to have been designed by artists, children and scientists together. ” – explained Lydia Giordano, spokesperson for “MaleTinte”.

In this context, to celebrate the WHO World No Tobacco Day, CoEHAR will host the “CoEHAR National Conference on harm reduction: risks and benefits of combustion-free products”. The conference will take place on Tuesday 31 May from 9am to 5pm, Aula Magna of “Palazzo Centrale” of the University of Catania.

The conference will be attended by the Italian leading researchers in the field of tobacco harm reduction research and the exponents of the national industry associations.

The special guest, Hiroya Kumamaru, Deputy Director of AOI International Hospital in Kawasaki, will discuss the incredible decrease in the number of smokers in Japan after the entry of reduced-risk products into the country.

Moderators of the event: Irma D’Aria and Stefano Caliciuri. Institutional greetings: Rector of the University of Catania, Francesco Priolo, and Councilor for Health of Sicily, Ruggero Razza.

Article available in Italian

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