The Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of HArm Reduction (CoEHAR) is an interdepartmental Research Center, established within the University of Catania on 7 March 2018 (Rector’s Decree no. 849 of 7.3.2018), with the aim of studying the effects and damages produced on health by tobacco smoke and, in particular, to develop strategies to contain and reduce the smoke-related risk through the use of new technologies.
prof. Giovanni LI VOLTI (for the four-year period 2020/2024) (Rector’s Decree no. 300 of 31.1.2020)
prof. Riccardo POLOSA (for the period 2018/2019) (Rector’s Decree no. 1221 of 3.4.2018)
Smoking is one of the major health problems of the modern world, whose impact on morbility and mortality is devastating both from a cardio-cerebrovascular and oncological point of view. The consequences of smoking cigarettes, in terms of cancer risk, are dramatically evident; more than a quarter of all cancer cases in the western world are caused by smoking. It is not just lung tumors (90% of which are related to tobacco smoking), but also cancer of esophagus, larynx, mouth, bladder, pancreas, kidney, stomach and hematological tumors (myeloid leukemia). Recently, the relationships between cigarette smoking and breast and colorectal cancer have also been confirmed.
A "pharmacological" and a "psychological-gestural" addiction coexist during tobacco use, that are physiologically and chemically expressed through a complex interrelation of brain neurotransmitters involved in "reward systems”. To date, there are considerable controversies on the most effective and scientifically validated methods for smoking cessation, and there is no official recognition on the efficacy of electronic cigarettes and other devices in validated smoking protocols

CoEHAR intends to investigate on:
• research on smoking and tobacco addiction;
• the main smoking-related diseases and their complications;
• strategies to support smokers who wants to quit;
• lifestyles and behaviors linked to the first experiences of tobacco smoking among the teenagers;
• pharmacological treatments for smoking and nicotine addiction;
• the new tobacco control scenarios;
• new alternative products to the conventional cigarette;
• technological innovations to support smoking cessation pathways;
• environmental pollution related to cigarette smoke and cigarette waste;
• the tobacco control and monitoring policies and alternative products;
• policies and protocols for harm reduction;
• cost-effectiveness analyses on the use of alternative products compared to conventional cigarettes.

CoEHAR activities will be aimed at improving people’s quality of life, through an effective and coordinated action of research and outreach.


Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Riccardo POLOSA (promoter) - Gaetano BERTINO - Rossella CACCIOLA - Aldo E. CALOGERO - Francesco FRASCA - Lucia FRITTITTA - Sandro LA VIGNERA - Francesco PURRELLO - Francesco RAPISARDA - Venerando RAPISARDA - Renata RIZZO - Martino RUGGIERI - Laura SCIACCA - Maria Salvina SIGNORELLI - Paolo VIGNERI

Department of General Surgery and Medical-Surgical Specialties
Francesco BASILE - Antonio Giuseppe BIONDI - Alberto BIANCHI 

Department of Economics and Business
Rosario FARACI

Department of Law

Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture
Francesco NOCERA

Department of Electric, Electronic and Computer Engineering

Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences
Giovanni GALLO - Sebastiano BATTIATO

Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences
Filippo DRAGO - Pio Maria FURNERI - Fabio GALVANO - Giuseppe LAZZARINO - Giovanni LI VOLTI - Maria SANTAGATI

Department of Chemical Sciences
Salvatore FAILLA - Giuseppe GRASSO - Antonino GULINO - Cristina SATRIANO

Department of Educational Sciences

Department of Political and Social Sciences


HEADQUARTER: University Hospital "Policlinico - Vittorio Emanuele", building 4, floor 2, rooms 77/78 - Via Santa Sofia 78, Catania -  95123 (ITALY)