Three Ph.D. candidates from UTC, namely Kenza Laroussy, Judith Saura, and Ayaka Teshima, participated in the Ph.D. Day organized by IDIBELL on November 10th. Kenza delivered an oral presentation, while Judith and Ayaka presented posters during the conference. All these research projects were developed with the support of the UTC team and some associated expert researchers in the field. 

Kenza’s presentation described “Tobacco use transitions among smokers of a cohort of nursing students of Catalonia between the baseline and the three-year follow-up, results from the ECTEC-S study. In brief, smoker nursing students experienced several transitions in their tobacco use patterns during the follow-up period, either by changing the frequency and type of tobacco use, the number of cigarettes consumed per day, switching between products, or quitting smoking. Those who were non-daily smokers or polytobacco users at baseline were more likely to do so. The results underscore the urgent need to implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce the use of both conventional and novel tobacco products among nursing students. 

Judith’s presentation outlined “the co-design process of a gamified web app for monitoring the consumption of cannabis and tobacco.” This study is part of her doctoral thesis, DuCATA_GAM-CaT, aiming to describe the co-creation process of a web app to track the patterns of cannabis and tobacco use and withdrawal syndrome among cannabis users attending substance abuse program centers. 

Ayaka’s presentation discussed “Mapping tobacco and nicotine use indicators in the Eurobarometer surveys over three decades.” This research, part of her doctoral thesis, aimed to identify changes in tobacco- and nicotine-related indicators and assess the comparability of selected indicators over time by systematically mapping the questions used in the Eurobarometer surveys. The research revealed multiple variations in available tobacco and nicotine-related indicators and the phrasing of questions over the last three decades. Consequently, comparisons of smoking burden over time using the Eurobarometer surveys are challenging. In summary, re-evaluating the Eurobarometer questionnaire should balance comparability with past surveys and the ability to better capture relevant information about new tobacco products. 

Their participation in this Ph.D. Day provided valuable inspiration through interactions with students from diverse disciplines and enhanced their skills in scientific communication. The UTC team looks forward to continuing to support them in their development as early-stage researchers.

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