By 2030, over 8 million people will die annually from tobacco, and 80% of these deaths will occur in developing countries. Many countries are attempting to contravene this trend by becoming signatories to the World Health Organization's international tobacco treaty-the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Helping smokers quit is a core article of the FCTC. Although Brazil provides universal coverage for evidence-based tobacco treatments, it continues to have disparities in tobacco prevalence and access to treatment. The twofold purpose of this project is to 1) conduct a research project to understand and enhance access to tobacco treatment for Brazilian smokers, and 2) build a research collaboration between the U.S. and Brazil. The research project involves collaborating with community-based primary care clinics in Juiz de Fora, Brazil to achieve the following specific aims: 1) create a representative registry of smokers to determine tobacco prevalence and attitudes toward treatment;2) describe health care provider perspectives on how best to reach low-income smokers;3) develop and pilot test a community agent intervention to enhance access to tobacco treatment services. The Parent R01 for this project tests the effectiveness of telemedicine to increase access to evidence-based tobacco treatment among rural Anglo and Latino smokers in the U.S. through rural primary care facilities. The project also relies on a K-Award that tests the effects of a U.S.-based lay health worker intervention designed to increase access to tobacco treatment among unban Latinos. The project utilizes the multiple-P.I. mechanism to take advantage of the complementary strengths of the Principal Investigators of these projects. The project will be conducted in collaboration with Brazilian P.I. Dr. Oscarina da Silva Ezequiel and her staff at the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF). Research capacity building activities include formal course offerings, mentored research projects, and community lectures designed to build knowledge and skills for conducting applied clinical research. The project addresses a significant global health problem and it is a highly relevant project for Brazil, which has a large population of very poor smokers. It also capitalizes on the unique structure of the Brazilian health care system to identify and link every smoker in the population to existing services. As such, it represents a paradigm shift from reactive to proactive treatment. Research project findings will be used to support an application for a large scale, definitive trial of the pilot intervention. If effective, the approach could achieve significant reductions in tobacco-related morbidity and mortality in Brazil and provide a model for population- based intervention internationally.
The twofold purpose of this project is to 1) enhance access to tobacco treatment for Brazilian smokers, and 2) build a research collaboration between the U.S. and Brazil. If effective, the project will provide a model for increasing access to tobacco treatment internationally and will strengthen the capacity of Brazilian researchers to conduct applied clinical research.