Implementation research on the tailored, multidisciplinary NCD prevention package FRESHAIR4Life: Targeting tobacco and air pollution exposure in mid- to late adolescents in disadvantaged populations

FRESH AIR 4 Life is a four-year implementation science research programme that commenced in January 2023 in five countries with 13 partners.  Building on FRESHAIR that IPCRG initiated back in 2010, it will develop context-specific interventions to reduce tobacco and air pollution exposure in disadvantaged populations.

This time, led by Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), working with four IPCRG member countries in Uganda, the Kyrgyz Republic, Romania and Greece, and also with The Initiative in Pakistan, we are focusing on tobacco and air pollution exposure in mid-late adolescents. 

At the kick-off meeting at the end of February in London we started to plan the detailed context assessment and risk stratification that LUMC will facilitate. This will take place before each country team decides on its interventions and will take advantage of the stakeholder relationships and research tools developed in FRESH AIR and related projects.

Each country team will then need to decide where they can have most impact, given their strengths and stakeholder interest and commitment. They can then work with LUMC, Maastricht University Medical Center+ (MUMC+), The University of Edinburgh and University of York to create their own “intervention palette”. Imagine a painter’s palette of primary colours red, blue and yellow?  These are the primary evidence-based interventions that we will support teams to implement including Very Brief Advice, media campaigns and Implementation Intentions (“If-then”) approach; but they can also add to them and mix them to form their own context-specific interventions eg policy level interventions, clean cookstove implementation, testing the added value of 48 hour personal exposure monitoring, more in-depth help to quit tobacco, and broader awareness campaigns. Expert teams such as NCD Child and University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) will be offering further specific support.