The French National Cancer Institute (INCa) is organising an international scientific conference on e-cigarette, looking at two key research questions: what are the health impacts? and what are the trajectories for users?
The objective of this e-cigarette conference is to create a place for international researchers and professionals working in the field of e-cigarette, and more generally anyone interested in and working on tobacco, to meet. It is intended to review ongoing research and identify any outstanding research questions by focusing on two central areas within this field: health effects and user trajectories.
This conference is based on a multidisciplinary approach: fundamental, humanities and social sciences, clinical, population health intervention research, etc.
Vaping devices, including e-cigarettes, are recent products that have now been commercially available for more than 10 years and have resulted in scientific questions and debates. The scientific community was quick to take an interest in e-cigarettes, particularly in their use as a smoking cessation tool. This interest is evident in the scientific literature with an increase in published international studies from 2016.
However, the initial scientific findings do not provide enough follow-up to assess whether – and to what extent – e-cigarettes might be beneficial or harmful for health. Further data are needed in this regard and around usage and user trajectories: do e-cigarettes aid smoking cessation, or do they encourage addiction relapses?
Since 2015, The French National Cancer Institute has been a major player in developing tobacco control research. Indeed, tobacco use is the leading preventable cancer-related death factor, making it a public health priority. INCa’s action in this field – particularly its research action – is reasserted in its ten-year anti-cancer strategy, with funding and support for research, scientific innovation, junior researchers; involvement in European initiatives,
and the provision of discussion opportunities with the scientific community to help disseminate knowledge. In this context, and to address the scientific and health challenges raised by e-cigarettes, INCa is organising – within the Addiction Fund – an international scientific meeting around e-cigarette research.
The French National Cancer Institute (INCa) is the French national health and scientific agency for cancer control and is in charge of monitoring the implementation of the nation’s Cancer Control Plan and the new 2021-2030 ten-year strategy that focuses on improving tobacco use prevention, limiting the after-effects of tobacco use, improving quality of life, fighting against cancers with a poor prognosis, and ensuring that progress in tobacco control benefits everyone.
The institute’s five main missions are disseminating knowledge about cancer, producing and sharing expertise, structuring and leading territorial cancer organizations, analyzing data to improve the targeting of actions, and boosting scientific and medical innovation.
INCa has been heavily involved for several years in tobacco control research by supporting actions and research on prevention, smoking cessation interventions for vulnerable populations, consumption patterns and new uses, new tobacco products and their health impacts (including e-cigarette). This strategy also supports junior researchers (including PhD) and the structuring of research. Its strategy is closely linked to two national measures: the national tobacco control plan and the national program to fight addictions.
Finally, the INCa’s tobacco control strategy is in line with the orientations of the national measures implemented: the National Plan for Tobacco Control (PNLT) and the National Programme for the Fight against Addictions (PNLA), for which dedicated funds have been created (Tobacco Fund and Addictions Fund).