UNIVERSITIES AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES CONVERGENCE TO INVESTIGATE AND TEACH

M. Zarza1, I. Martínez-Solís2, C. Hernández1, MA. Sanahuja2, A. Salazar3, P. Soriano4, J. Romero5, F. Bosch5

1FEPAD (SPAIN)
2Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera (SPAIN)
3Generalitat Valenciana. Consellería de Sanitat. (SPAIN)
4Unisersidad de Valencia. Jardín Botánico (SPAIN)
5Universidad CEU-Cardenal Herrera (SPAIN)
Researchers from laboratory studies usually disseminate their findings through scientific papers and conferences that are meant to reach other scientist or professionals from the same or similar fields. Rarely these results are translated to the regular citizens that could greatly benefit from them. The presenting educational project focus on translating and distributing research findings obtained in the laboratory context to the regular people. The initial laboratory study was conducted at the University CEU-Cardenal Herrera and it aimed to analyze different types of tobacco (burly tobacco vs. non-fermented tobacco) to study their morphological and histological properties and potential harms for the smokers´ health. Results indicated that dangerous yeast/fungus and other micro-organism that can cause respiratory diseases and other health problems are found in “burley” tobacco (fermented) cigarettes but not in non-fermented tobacco cigarettes. Results were so significant that researchers decided to disseminate them not only to other scientist and health professionals but also to the community and particularly to active-passive burley cigarette smokers. Researchers initiated a fruitful collaboration with FEPAD, a local foundation dedicated to the study and promotion of community health through preventive programs on drug abuse. CEU-Cardenal Herrera and FEPAD requested funding for this project to the Government of Valencia. The project was funded in June of 2008 by Consellería de Educación and Consellería de Sanidad. Collaborations were formalized between the university (researchers), the government (founders) and FEPAD (health promoters). In order to reach regular citizens, findings were simplified and synthesized to practical knowledge and converted into a brief and colourful booklet specifically designed for smokers of all types to include family members and other passive smokers. The booklet entitled “What type of tobacco is worse for a smoker’s health?” was designed, printed and distributed to local people thanks to the efforts of the three institutions.