Republic of Serbia
Since 2002, CPHA has worked with the Tobacco Control Commission of the Republic of Serbia. CPHA provided technical advice on and helped prepare the Republic’s first tobacco control strategy. CPHA also supported the implementation of the GYTS in over 300 schools in the Republic of Serbia and as well provided financial support to events marking Republic No-Smoking Day (January 31st) and World No-Tobacco Day (May 31st).
In a visually striking project, CPHA obtained copyrights from the Government of British Columbia and financed both the translation into Serbian and the reproduction of the Tobacco Industry Poster Child materials. These posters were distributed to primary and secondary schools as well as health facilities throughout the Republic of Serbia.
In December 2003, CPHA supported a Serbian technical mission to Canada on skills-building in smoking prevalence and cessation. The Public Health Association of Serbia became a member of the Republic of Serbia’s National Tobacco Control Commission, and is co-hosting a series of seminars about the FCTC in the Republic of Serbia.
CPHA also supported in 2005 through the PHAS a pilot study on pregnancy-associated smoking prevalence and post-partum smoking cessation relapse. This marked the first time that a study on this particular population group was carried out in eastern Europe. The results of the study indicated very high smoking prevalence rates among pregnant and post-partum women and a high cessation relapse despite counseling on smoking cessation by doctors. A decision was taken to implement a national study, the results of which would be used to inform decision-makers and health professionals about the urgency of the issue and the need to improve the quality and effectiveness of smoking prevention and cessation services.
CPHA also provided that same year technical advice to the Republic of Serbia’s National Tobacco Control Commission with the preparation of a project proposal methodology for a study on exposure of hospitality industry employees to second-hand tobacco smoke. The study, which examined ETS exposure for staff employed in restaurants and bars in Belgrade, was funded through the Research for International Tobacco Control (RITC).
In 2006, the pilot Global Health Professionals Survey (GHPSS) was carried out in the faculties of medicine (PDF: 120k), dentistry (PDF: 117k) and pharmacy (PDF: 119k) at Belgrade University. The research results indicate high smoking prevalence among health professional students and a need to reinforce the formal smoking prevention and cessation training as a component of the university curriculum.
CPHA continues to support PHAS’s efforts to contribute to enhancing tobacco control policy, programs and practice in the Republic of Serbia. CPHA supported the participation of PHAS delegates to the 5th National Conference on Tobacco Control, which took place in October 2007 in Edmonton (Alberta). The delegates met with Canadian tobacco control policy-makers and researchers, and brought back new ideas and information about “best practices” in taxation, advertising bans, health package warnings and smoking prevention/cessation among youth. CPHA will support the implementation of a national second-round of the GYTS and the national study on pregnancy-associated smoking prevalence and post-partum smoking cessation relapse, which will be conducted with technical assistance on research methodology and data analysis through the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU).