Launch of the Horizon 2020 Project


TackSHS is a new research project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. TackSHS aims to improve our understanding of second-hand tobacco smoke and e-cigarette emissions and find ways of tackling the health burden caused by exposure to these aerosols. Last week, over 30 professionals from six countries in Europe met in Barcelona for a two-days kick-off meeting, during which each team presented their work programme for the next four years.

The project with a duration of 48 months (2 November 2015 – 1 November 2019) and a total budget of three Million Euros brings together leading European research centres, academic institutions and non-governmental organisations to work in partnership on a comprehensive and integrated approach to generate significant step-change beyond the current state-of-the-art in understanding second-hand tobacco smoke and electronic cigarette aerosols.

The multidisciplinary team of public health scientists, medical and environmental epidemiologists, occupational health specialists, respiratory physicians, health economists and policy experts will be working together within the project with the overall aim of characterizing the exposure of second-hand smoke in Europe and improving the understanding of the effects of second-hand tobacco smoke and electronic cigarette aerosols on respiratory health. The project will also develop methods of measuring second-hand smoke and electronic cigarette aerosol in homes and cars, and will seek simple, low-cost approaches to help motivate smokers to make their homes smoke-free.

Within a fast changing environment, this project will try to elucidate the comprehensive impact that SHS and e-cigarette aerosols have on the European population and how health impacts vary according to socio-economic parameters with particular emphasis on specific vulnerable groups such as patients suffering from chronic lung diseases.

Coordinated by the Institut Catala d’Oncologia (Spain), the TackSHS Project involves research institutes from six different European countries:

  • Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona (Spain)
  • Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri” (Italy)
  • The University of Aberdeen (United Kingdom)
  • TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland LBG (Ireland)
  • Hellenic Cancer Society (Greece)
  • Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (Italy)
  • Istituto per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica (Italy)
  • Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (Spain)
  • European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (Belgium)
  • Fundación para le Investigación Biomédica del Hospital Universitario la Princesa (Spain)


Background information

Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) has been shown to have adverse health effects on adults and children, including heart disease and respiratory disorders. The WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) states in Article 8 the need to develop smoke-free policies to protect non-smokers from this hazard.

Electronic cigarettes (the most common “electronic nicotine delivery system”) have irrupted in the past 3 years with sales volumes increasing considerably across the EU. Electronic cigarettes have been presented as a “safe” alternative for smokers by some behavioural and individual-risk scientists while others, in view of the lack of sound scientific evidence on their health effects at the individual and societal level, recommend a more cautious approach to their use and regulation.

For additional information please contact:

  • Esteve Fernández, Project Coordinator at the Institut Catala d’Oncologia (
  • Dominick Nguyen, Dissemination Coordinator at the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (
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