Waterloo’s ITC Project honoured with 2021 Governor General’s Innovation Award

Waterloo’s ITC Project honoured with 2021 Governor General’s Innovation Award

Since its foundation in 2002, the ITC Project’s research has contributed to strengthening global actions to end tobacco use through policy evaluation

This story was originally written by Wendy Philpott and published on the University of Waterloo’s news site

Geoffrey Fong, Founder and Chief Principal Investigator of the ITC Project

One of six Governor General’s Innovation Awards for 2021 has been granted to the International Tobacco Control Project (ITC). Housed in David Johnston Research + Technology Park, this project was founded in 2002 by Geoffrey Fong, a University of Waterloo social psychology professor who has since led its team of 150+ researchers through 29 countries. Mary Thompson of the Faculty of Mathematics and David Hammond of the Faculty of Health have also been involved with ITC as collaborators.

The ITC Project has contributed to research between the faculties of Arts, Math and Health since its establishment through conducting and collecting numerous surveys to evaluate the impacts of the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control policies. Through such research, ITC has contributed to an evidence base supporting action plans to address health concerns of tobacco smoking.

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ITC has been granted innovative recognition through being the first of its kind – an institutionally founded international tobacco program that assesses tobacco use trends over time, and whether such trends have been influenced by tobacco control policies. Within Canada, the project has recently dedicated research to the positive impact of the ban in menthol flavour on smokers quitting.

Regarding the Governor General’s Innovation Award, Fong says “this is a truly special honour,” while Hammond mentions “it’s a testament to the importance of basic public health research and of international collaborations to understand how global risk factors for chronic disease can be addressed”. Read the full story on the University of Waterloo news site.