NCDs Prevention

This department aims to conduct research, teach and provide services to the City on the prevention of non- communicable diseases. The activity of Prof.  Etter focuses on tobacco dependence and smoking prevention, the activity of Prof. Mattig focuses on health promotion, and Prof. Perel’s mission is to foster  collaborations  on the topic of global cardiovascular  disease  prevention with a focus on low & middle income countries and humanitarian settings.


The team of Prof. Jean-François Etter conducts studies on tobacco dependence and e-cigarettes and performs assessments of prevention interventions. Research projects include a randomized trial in 5’200 smokers to test the efficacy of a smartphone-based application for smoking cessation (supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation), a longitudinal study of e-cigarette users with follow-up after 10 years, and studies of the addictiveness of e-cigarettes. Three studies on withdrawal symptoms were conducted in collaboration with Prof. John Hughes, University of Vermont, USA.

Prof. Mattig’s research covers health policy, physical activity and nutrition in children and adolescents, falls in the elderly, and national health promotion programs.

Prof. Perel collaborates with Prof. Karl Blanchet (Geneva Centre  for Humanitarian  Studies) on  a national assessment on Non Communicable Diseases  in  Afghanistan.  His  research   proposal was shortlisted for full submission by the Medical Research Council (UK) with Dr. David Beran (Division of Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine, HUG) on implementation of innovative and scalable to prevent diabetic foot ulcers in Peru. He is working on a research proposal with Prof Ehret (Cardiology Division, HUG) for a National Institute of Health Research Global Group (UK) to improve the management of hypertension in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Services to the city

Prof. Mattig is the director of the   Foundation « Promotion Santé Suisse », Prof. Perel is Senior Science Advisor for the World Heart Federation. Prof. Etter’s team implements the web-based and smartphone-based prevention pro- grammes Stop-tabac, Stop-alcohol and Stop-cannabis, that reach over 200’000 users each month and are used for both prevention and research purposes. Staff members are also members of several scientific committees and scientific journals editorial boards.