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The Newton Researcher Links Smoke-Free Homes Workshop

 

The Newton Researcher Links Smoke-Free Homes Workshop

7-9 May, 2018

 

The Newton Researcher Links Smoke-Free Homes Workshop held on the 7-9 May, 2018 at Novotel Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Malaysia brought together forty key researchers involved in work related to smoke-free homes in both Malaysia and the United Kingdom (UK).

 

The workshop was funded by the British Council and Akademi Sains Malaysia under the Newton-Ungku Omar Funds and was organised by Assoc. Prof Dr. Sean Semple (University of Stirling, Scotland) and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emilia Zainal Abidin (Universiti Putra Malaysia) who were both the joint PI in this grant. The workshop was also supported by four distinguished academics who were the mentors for the PI consisted of Prof. Dr. Zailina Hashim (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Prof. Dr. Noor Hassim Ismail (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia), Prof. Dr. Amanda Amos (University of Edinburgh) and Prof. Dr. Kamran Siddiqi (University of York).

 

The workshop provided the unique opportunity to learn from each other about research activity and the wider policy with regards to Smoke-Free Homes currently in place in both Malaysia and the UK. The workshop gave the opportunity to establish working relationships and the participants were able to explore the research gaps and needs in Malaysia, the UK and wider Low and Middle Income Countries context and helped crystallise ideas for future collaboration.

 

Summary of the workshop

The workshop discussed the health effects of being exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) in the home and explored the potential benefits of helping smokers to make their home smoke-free. The progress that has been made in reducing the proportion of smokers who smoke at home in the UK was discussed and differences between smoking in Malaysia and the UK were reviewed. The need for holistic, whole-household intervention methods was agreed upon; particularly in relation to the high levels of male smoking in Malaysia (48% compared to <2% of females). Discussions recognised the important opportunities to help households become smoke-free around the fasting month, Ramadan, where smoking does not take place during daylight hours. This temporary cessation behaviour may enable the design of culturally specific interventions. Participants recognised the potential in both countries of raising awareness about SHS exposure among children through their school curriculum. Using children as communicators and message ambassadors has potential but it would be important to explore any cultural barriers to this and investigate how smokers receive information delivered by this route. The workshop identified the possible use of air quality feedback and/or biological monitoring methods such as salivary cotinine levels as motivating tools to encourage households to introduce smoke-free rules. Participants agreed on the need for a smoke-free homes research network in Malaysia to build on the experiences of relevant advocacy NGOs in the UK to help facilitate the exchange and communication between academics and government officials responsible for public health. The workshop drafted a position statement on smoke-free homes research (The Kuala Lumpur Charter) with a view to publishing this in an international journal within six months of the workshop.

Date of Input: 30/05/2018 | Updated: 30/05/2018 | yubin

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