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A Cochrane stakeholder engagement project led from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences informs national call funding for tobacco research.

The National Institute for Health Research’s latest funding call for tobacco research cites a priority setting project carried out in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences as a clear driver for the call.

During 2016, the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group’s tobacco addition priority setting project (CTAG taps) set out to understand the opinions and experiences of members of the public, health professionals, healthcare commissioners, researchers, guideline developers and funders. A clear message emerged – that there are many unanswered research questions in the areas of tobacco use prevention, harm reduction and cessation.

Funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, and led by members of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group and the department’s senior communications manager, Dan Richards-Doran, the project highlighted eight tobacco-related priority research categories, with corresponding questions, and four overarching priority themes for tobacco research.

Infographic: 8 priority themes for tobacco control research

To develop their large funding call across a number of funding streams, the NIHR have drawn on these outputs and discussed them with their own stakeholders to come up with a commissioning brief for researchers who would like to apply for the funding call. The NIHR are particularly interested in the following areas:

  • Addressing inequalities resulting from tobacco use.
  • Delivery of smoking cessation support in the UK National Health Service.
  • Quitting tobacco during pregnancy.
  • Electronic cigarettes.
  • The tobacco control system.
  • Quit attempt triggers.
  • Preventing tobacco use in young people.

Welcoming the funding call based on the outputs of their project, the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group’s Managing Editor and lead investigator for the project, Dr Nicola Lindson, University of Oxford, said: “One of the goals of the exercise was to set our own priorities for coming years; but we were hopeful that we could disseminate the results widely enough that the wider community would also benefit. It is great to see that we achieved this. We really hope that it will drive much needed research and ultimately contribute to public health.”

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