Dr. Rima Nakkash, associate professor at American University of Beirut (AUB) Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) Graduate Public Health Program, associate director of its Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center and the WHO Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking Knowledge Hub, was granted by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) $ 800,000 to lead a four-year multi-country study (Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Egypt), on the different economic aspects of waterpipe tobacco smoking.
Entitled “Eastern Mediterranean Consortium on the Economics of Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking (ECON-WTS): Capacity Building and Knowledge Translation”, the study aims to estimate the price elasticity of demand for waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) and the cross-price elasticity between cigarettes and WTS and model the impact of fiscal policies for waterpipe tobacco control on WTS rates, health care costs, and public revenues. It aspires to develop a toolkit to guide researchers conducting analyses on the economics of WTS, and develop and evaluate strategies to disseminate knowledge about the economic impact of waterpipe tobacco control policies to government agencies, policymakers, and advocates.
Dr. Rima Nakkash will lead the study along with co-PI Dr. Ramzi Salloum, assistant professor at the University of Florida (USA) and a research affiliate at AUB Faculty of Health Sciences. At a regional level, the study will be co-lead by principal investigators from the Jordan University of Science and Technology, Dr. Yousef Khader (Jordan); Birzeit University, Dr. Niveen Abu-Rmeileh (Palestine); and Ain Shams University, Dr. Aya Mostafa (Egypt).