30 May 2020

World No Tobacco Day 2020 #TobaccoExposed

World No Tobacco Day - Statement by European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety,
Stella Kyriakides

In the EU, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of cancer mortality, with 27% of all cancer deaths linked to smoking. This is why, in Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, we will have a strong focus on tobacco control and take strong action to reduce the exposure to this key risk factor. And part of our priorities is to protect our young people from its dangerous effects – this is at the core of EU tobacco policies.

This week, the EC have presented a proposal for the most ambitious and far-reaching funding programme ever for health – EU4Health. With an unprecedented €9.4 billion in EU funding, we will be able to significantly increase our support for cancer prevention and care.

Despite the fact that up to 40% of cancers might be preventable, only an average of 3% of health budgets are spent on prevention across the EU. And with the current impact of COVID-19 on health in general, and on cancer prevention and care specifically, there is an urgent need to step up our efforts. 

Tobacco use is never safe. Therefore, on this World No Tobacco Day, the best decision would be to leave smoking in the past.

Read the full Statement by Commissioner Kyriakides...

Read more about the new EC EU4Health Programme...

WHO World No Tobacco Day 2020 Awards Congratulations to the Winners!

Every year, WHO recognizes individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards.

European Region awardees

  • Dr Arsen Torosyan, Minister of Health, Armenia 
  • VIVID - Institute for the Prevention of Addiction, Austria 
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland 
  • Limerick Comhairle (country-wide youth council), Ireland   
  • Dr Ghenadie Turcanu, program coordinator, Center for Health Policies and Studies, Republic of Moldova
  • Cancer Research UK, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Meet Dr Ghenadie Turcanu - WHO WNTD 2020 Awardee

ENSP is proud to present to "the Network" Dr Ghenadie Turcanu, program coordinator at PAS (Center for Health Policies and Studies), the Republic of Moldova. This week he was announced among the six winners of the WHO World No Tobacco Day Awards in the European region. 


We sincerely congratulate our long-standing member of the ENSP Network for this well-deserved recognition of his continuous efforts and achievements in improving tobacco control policies in the Republic of Moldova. Thanks to his dedication to the fight against tobacco, Republic of Moldova was once again selected by the World Health Organization among the champions in the field of tobacco control in Europe

Dr Turcanu kindly accepted to talk with us about the current tobacco control situation in Moldova and first he mentioned the challenges that he faced throughout these years, when civil society had to protect the new laws from attacks and attempts of relaxing the legislation or introducing exemptions. For instance, in 2019 the Constitutional Court upheld the Tobacco Control Law’s provision banning tobacco sales from commercial establishments that are smaller than 20 m2 and are located within 200 meters of educational and healthcare facilities. Based on the expert opinion provided by health advocates The Court concluded that the policy serves a legitimate aim – limiting access by minors and protecting the health of minors and patients.

"The tobacco industry doesn't miss a single opportunity to lobby for its interests.

 In the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic the European Business Association appealed for a 12-months delay in the implementation of regulations related to the ban of advertising  at the point of sale in Moldova. In the end, the provision will come into force with a delay of only 3 months but we have to stay vigilant and oppose such attacks. "
Among the most recent tobacco control achievements in Moldova is the ban of menthol tobacco that came into force at the same time with the European Union countries, on May 20.  Nonetheless, Dr Turcanu mentions the legislation gap that allows the sales of flavoured heated tobacco sticks and e-cigarettes' liquids and he hopes that in the future the provision will be extended to all types of tobacco products.

Dr Turcanu insists that in the coming years the Republic of Moldova should focus on 2 key points: adopting the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products and significantly increasing tobacco taxes by 2025 in accordance with the Moldova–European Union Association Agreement.  

While there is a long way ahead to reach the goal of less than 5% of the smoking population in the country, now is the moment to celebrate what has been accomplished in the Republic of Moldova.    

Ghenadie admits that his nomination and the award occurred to be a complete surprise for him: he was nominated for the tremendous contribution to the adoption of the comprehensive tobacco control law, first in 2015, and then in 2019 (which also extended the existing provisions to novel products such as heated tobacco and e-cigarettes).  

He named more than 20 fellow colleagues and organizations and mentioned that the success stories of 2015 and 2019 would not be possible without the collaboration of this united multi-sectorial team involving all national stakeholders, and international experts support.
“It is very important not to feel alone in this fight and always, as part of the ENSP, part of the tobacco control network, I knew and I know that I am not alone.”  
ENSP once again congratulates Dr Ghenadie Turcanu as the winner of the WHO World No Tobacco Day Award 2020, which he will formally receive during the Webinar and Award Ceremony co-organized by ENSP on 2 June 2020.

2 June 2020 - Webinar and Award Ceremony to mark World No Tobacco Day

#TobaccoExposed: protecting youth from deceptive tobacco industry marketing

The WHO World No Tobacco Day in 2020 is focused on exposing, denouncing, and taking action against tobacco industry tactics to attract new generations of consumers into using its products.

After years of progress in enacting regulations to reduce tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, countries in Europe and all over the world are faced with an onslaught of old and new industry tactics to attract young consumers – some through exploiting domestic loopholes in advertising restrictions; others through new, less regulated channels.

The purpose of this online event will be to expose the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry and to call for closing the gaps in the implementation of the FCTC Article 13 and its guidelines through stronger policies and consistent enforcement. 

Furthermore, the award ceremony will recognise the European recipients of the 2020 WHO World No Tobacco Day Award.

World No Tobacco Day 2020: 
The Secret is out. #TobaccoExposed

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) - Series of Articles
"Blowing Unsmoke"

“Blowing Unsmoke” collaboration brought together journalists from 10 countries on four continents to look at how Philip Morris International’s new IQOS product is shaping the landscape of tobacco.
An art object. A fashion accessory. A medical treatment. A scientifically advanced gadget. And even, recently, a solution to COVID-19-induced lockdown boredom.  

Philip Morris International, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, is promoting its new star product, the IQOS, as everything except what it really is: a tobacco delivery device.  

Read the series of articles published at OCCRP website that expose the truth about the heated tobacco and overall industry's tactics:

World No Tobacco Day 2020 - Video Resources

Video presentation "Nicotine, youth and tobacco industry interference" 

Ahead of World No Tobacco Day (31 May), public health specialist Dr Filippos Filippidis recorded a presentation focused on regulatory aspects of tobacco and youth, offering recommendations for policies to counteract the deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco and nicotine industries. Dr Filippos Filippidis is a member of the European Respiratory Society Tobacco Control Committee and senior lecturer in public health at Imperial College London, UK.
Video Testimonials of Former Smokers (FR/DE)

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, May 31, the Cancer Foundation Luxembourg interviewed four former smokers - Philippe, Alex, Léa and Dejan. Everyone can quit smoking!

World No Tobacco Day 2020 - Press Releases

Tobacco industry must cease targeting young people in LMICs

Ahead of World No Tobacco Day, the Union has publicly advocated for the prohibition of the sale of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), which are home to more than 80 percent of the world’s smokers. 

The Union’s support of the ban is based on the release of its new position paper, ‘Where bans are best: Why LMICs must prohibit e-cigarettes and heated tobacco product sales to truly tackle tobacco’

Read the Message from the Union...

José Luis Castro, Executive Director of the Union, commented: 

" 'Where Bans are Best’ provides guidance and recommendations for the countries hardest hit by the tobacco epidemic to protect themselves and their youth against the tobacco industry’s insidious tactics to hook the next generation of users.  I trust that it will empower tobacco control advocates, providing them with ten key arguments to explain why this is the right moment to argue against the sale, manufacture, import and export of novel products."

UICC calls for the strict regulation of e-cigarettes
to protect youth

As the world marks World No Tobacco Day on 31st May, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) expresses concern at the rise in the prevalence of youth vaping and calls for a strict regulation of the ingredients, age limits and other aspects of sales and distribution of e-cigarettes. There is a growing body of research that shows that they are unhealthy products designed to be addictive and facilitate first-time tobacco smoking.

Read the UICC Press Release...
HRH Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, President of UICC, said: 

“We need to act before it’s too late. Let’s not make the same mistake we made with combustible cigarettes and condemn yet another generation to illness and shortened unhealthy lives. Insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting different results: let’s err on the side of sanity.”

World No Tobacco Day Exposes How Tobacco Companies Continue To Target Kids – and Why Policy Makers Must Act Now to Stop Them

On May 31, countries around the world will mark World No Tobacco Day, which this year is shining the light on how tobacco companies continue to lure and addict kids across the globe. The World Health Organization’s 2020 World No Tobacco Day campaign, #tobaccoexposed, highlights how tobacco companies have modernized their marketing playbook to continue targeting kids with both traditional tobacco products and more novel products like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. The industry’s goal remains the same: To attract young people as replacement customers for the more than 8 million people killed by tobacco products worldwide each year.

Read the CTFK Press Release...

Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, stated:

“In recent months, the industry has stooped to new lows to target youth by exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to sell more products. In more than 28 countries, tobacco and e-cigarette companies have used social media and other marketing tactics to launch pandemic-themed promotions, undermine minimum age purchase restrictions meant to protect youth and make unproven and illegal health claims”.

Implement Children's Rights, Boost Tobacco Control

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May 2020, the German Cancer Research Center, the German Children‘s Fund (Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk), Unfairtobacco and 16 other organisations submit an alternative report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. They criticize the deficient protection of children from secondhand smoke, from tobacco advertisement and from exploitation, i.e. child labour. They demand the German government to immediately take stronger tobacco control measures in order to better protect children‘s rights.

Read the Unfairtobacco Press Release...

Sonja von Eichborn, Director of Unfairtobacco, declares: 

“Due to its deficient tobacco control policies, Germany is violating the fundamental rights of children to health and life. In addition, children’s rights must be protected along the entire supply chain, because cigarette companies profit from child labour and exploitation. It is long overdue that the Federal Government fulfils its obligations under international law and puts the tobacco industry in its place”.

NGO Joint Submission to the UN Human Rights Council

In advance of the 44th session of the United Nations Human Right’s Council (HRC) this June, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) US and several partners, including ENSP, jointly submitted a formal statement addressing tobacco in the global human rights agenda.

Read the Joint Statement...

Upcoming Events

31 May -  World No Tobacco Day Webinar

Tobacco use is on the list of national priorities in Romania with a direct impact on public health, which is why the Alliance of Health Students invites you to participate in a webinar that will focus on the multidisciplinary approach to smoking, by understanding health risks, sociological mechanisms and psychological factors involved in the practice of smoking and the impact of alternatives to the traditional cigarette.  Confirmed speakers include:

Dr. Magdalena Ciobanu - primary pulmonologist, tobacco specialist and coordinator of the National Smoking Stop Program;
Ramona Brad - President of the Healthy Romania 2035 Generation Association, Project Director Romania 2035 Without Tobacco Initiative;
Nadina Pantea - President of the Federation of Student Associations in Psychology and Educational Sciences in Romania (Cognosis).

The webinar will take place on 31 May, 2020, 7:00 p.m (EEST) in Romanian language.

8 June - Webinar on Countering Tobacco Industry Interference in the Time of COVID-19

The WHO FCTC Secretariat’s Knowledge Hub for Article 5.3, in collaboration with STOP (Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products), is hosting a high-level webinar on Countering Tobacco Industry Interference in the Time of COVID-19.

The webinar will take place on June 8, 2020, 12:30 GMT (see local time conversion), as the panelists highlighted in the banner discuss ways to overcome the evolving challenges posed by the tobacco industry.

Please register here by June 7, in order to save a slot that allows you to participate in the question and answer session.

9 June - ECPC Webinar
There is Life After Cancer: Putting an End to the Discrimination

On 9 June, in line with the United States’ Cancer Survivors Day, the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) will be organising an online event entitled “There is Life after Cancer: Putting an end to the discrimination” which will seek to raise awareness of the various issues affecting the lives of patients’ after cancer by stressing the importance of a European approach to cancer survivorship care as a key strategy to promote equal access and non-discrimination as well as long-term follow up for healthcare matters and social inclusion.


UICC launches Tobacco Taxation Course for cancer organisations

UICC has launched a master-course on tobacco taxation led by Jacqui Drope from American Cancer Society and Bekki Field from Cancer Research UK. This course will explore the importance of why cancer organisations must include tobacco taxation in their mission as a key strategic intervention to reduce smoking-related cancers, and will help participants build a strategy that they can include in their day-to-day work.
While we know tobacco taxation – one of the WHO’s best-buys on Non-Communicable diseases - to be a hugely impactful intervention that can save millions of lives, it is sadly still also one of the most underused.  This course seeks to reverse this trend and support cancer organisations to understand the tobacco taxation situation in their country, engage the appropriate country-level stakeholders and equip them with tools to counter frequent arguments against tax increases.  

The deadline for applications is 12 June.

Seeking for Marie Curie PostDoc Candidates -
Tobacco Control Unit, ICO

The Tobacco Contro Unit of the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO, Barcelona, Spain) / Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is seeking for an excellent PostDoc candidate that is willing to apply for the Marie S. Curie Individual Fellowships 2020.

5th European Conference on Tobacco Control


12-14 October 2020 - Paris, France 

The abstract submission for the fifth edition of the ENSP European Conference on Tobacco Control is open until 31 July 2020. Submit your proposals for the conference programme, including the topic of Tobacco / Smoking / Vaping & COVID-19.    

Stay tuned for Conference updates at ENSP ECTC website...
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