18 January 2021

Ending tobacco epidemic

an essential step for beating cancer

Every year, 3.5 million people in the EU are diagnosed with cancer, and 1.3 million die from it. Over 40% of cancer cases are preventable. Without reversing current trends, it could become the leading cause of death in the EU. In 2020, the Commission released its Europe’s beating cancer plan aiming at reducing the cancer burden for patients, their families and health systems.
Tobacco is a great risk factor for cancer, often still unknown and underestimated. Thus, every month in 2021, ENSP will dedicate a section of "The Network" to a certain type of cancer and its link to tobacco. 

January - Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Since the US Surgeon General Report, many epidemiological studies with various designs have reported an association between smoking and an elevated risk of cervical cancer (1,2). Furthermore, a recently published assessment of the IARC monograph has concluded that there is sufficient evidence for a relationship between smoking and the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix (3,4).

More precisely, women who smoke are about twice as likely as non-smokers to get cervical cancer. Compounds deriving from tobacco have been found in the cervical mucus of women who smoke, and it is commonly believed that these substances damage the DNA of cervix cells and may contribute to the development of cervical cancer. Smoking also makes the immune system less effective in fighting HPV infections (5). Finally, a recent metanalysis provides evidence that passive smoking is associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer (6).



  1. 2004 Surgeon General’s Report—The Health Consequences of Smoking.
  2. WHO IARC Monograph on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans Volume 100E Tobacco Smoke and Involuntary Smoking. 2012 http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol100E/index.php
  3. Secretan B, Straif K, Baan R, et al. WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group. A review of human carcinogens--Part E: tobacco, areca nut, alcohol, coal smoke, and salted fish. Lancet Oncol 2009;11:1033–4.
  4. Cogliano VJ, Baan R, Straif K, et al. Preventable exposures associated with human cancers. J Natl Cancer Inst 2011;103:1827–39.
  5. American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html
  6. Su, Benyu, et al. "The relation of passive smoking with cervical cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis." Medicine46 (2018).

New ENSP Video

Herbal Cigarettes: Not as Safe as You Think!

"Many people assume that anything herbal or natural isn't dangerous, and that's not true". In the European Union countries the sale and use of these products must comply with a series of rules established by Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) 2014/40/EU and approved by the EU countries. Art 21 of the TPD clearly describes under which conditions and requirements, herbal cigarettes can reach the market.
Read more about the herbal cigarettes in the ENSP Fact Sheet #3/2020 Herbal Cigarettes Not as Safe as You Think

Sign the written statement of ASH on the implementation of 2030 Agenda!

Last week, the Human Rights Council held its 3rd intersessional meeting (virtual) on human rights and the 2030 Agenda - Building Back Better: Integrating Human Rights in Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Head of the Convention Secretariat WHO FCTC, Dr. Adriana Blanco Marquizo made a statement, connection tobacco, COVID, and the development agenda.

Watch the video here...

The Human Rights Council has also issued a call for written input on what is being done to implement the 2030 Agenda in the context of COVID-19 recovery and this is a perfect opportunity not only to highlight tobacco in the human rights context, but also to promote the FCTC as a key tool to achieve human rights.

In order to particpate sign the form prepared by ASH until midnight EST on Wednesday, January 20 . ASH will submit the final document with all the sign-ons listed on January 21. For more information, please contact Romeo-stuppyk@ash.org. 

Upcoming events

ENSP-ECTC: The online edition continues!

The 2020 ENSP-ECTC Online Edition brought all Conference speakers and their presentations closer to you in a new format. 120 abstracts have been published on the ENSP-ECTC website along with the authors' slides, videos and other information about the online Conference 2020.
Up to now the Online Edition of ECTC has hosted more than 600 participants within a series of webinars dedicated to such important topics as illicit tobacco trade, youth and tobacco, tobacco industry tactics, novel products epidemic or smoking cessation.
The ENSP-ECTC Conference – The Online Edition will continue in 2021 with another series of events dedicated to the most acute topics relevant for the tobacco control community. Stay tuned via our website!

21 January, 2021: COVID-19 pandemic and tobacco use behavior webinar

In collaboration with the Belgian Luxembourg Romanian Moldovan Chamber of Commerce, ENSP organises a webinar on January 21, at 14:00 CET on the theme of COVID-19 pandemic and tobacco use behavior. The event's agenda will feature presentations of Ramona Brad –  Project Director 2035 Tobacco-Free Romania Initiative and ENSP Secretary General Cornel Radu-Loghin.

World Cancer Day 2021

Prevention and Risk Reduction in Slovenia

The Slovenian Coalition for Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control and Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care organise an event dedicated to the World Cancer Day 2021. The online conference "World Cancer Day 2021 - Prevention and risk reduction  #IWillAndIAm"  for cancer prevention in Slovenia will be held on February 3 from 10:00 to 14:00 (CET) on ZOOM.


The conference will aim to provide participants valuable knowledge related to the latest developments in the field of cancer prevention and risk reduction. The conference will be presented by journalist Bogi Pretnar and Slovenian Coalition for Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control vice-president Miha Lovše.

The Spanish ENDGAME International Webinar

ENSP member Nofumadores.org, in collaboration with ASH, are organizing a webinar with national and international speakers on endgame with the aim of continuing to promote the idea of ending tobacco in Spain by 2030. The declaration of Endgame will be presented during the event with the aim of highlighting the importance of taking action now.
The webinar will be held on Thursday, February 4, from 17:30 to 19:00 (CET) and will have simultaneous English-Spanish and Spanish-English translation. Stay tuned to be the first one to register!

Country updates

Tax increase for HTP and ENDS in Ukraine

To prevent the growing uptake of electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products (HTPs) by young people and reduce the products’ affordability, the Parliament of Ukraine increased taxes on tobacco products (Law 466-IX). Starting with January 1st, 2021, heat sticks will no longer be taxed per kilo but per 1000 units and electronic nicotine delivery systems ( ENDS), such as e-cigarette liquids with and without nicotine, will be also taxed at a higher rate.


IARC Monographs, Volume 100 on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans

Volume 100 of the IARC Monographs, A Review of Human Carcinogens has been published and contains knowledge accumulated through several decades of cancer research. It aims at stimulating cancer prevention activities worldwide, and it will be a valued resource for future research to identify other agents suspected of causing cancer in humans. The volume covers all agents previously classified by IARC as "carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)" and was developed by six separate Working Groups: Pharmaceuticals; Biological agents; Arsenic, Metals, Fibres, and Dusts; Radiation; Personal Habits and Indoor Combustions; Chemical Agents and Related Occupations.

Now also indexed in PubMed Central. Learn more...

The latest publications in the TPC Journal:
Connor J. Maloney, Jodi Kurtz, Megan K. Heim, James D. Maloney, Lauren J. Taylor
Florin Dimitriu Mihaltan
Juhan Lee, Lindsay A. Thompson, Ramzi G. Salloum
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