25 January 2021

ENSP-ECTC: The online edition continues!

27 January: Loose Tobacco Project Webinar

On 27 January 2021 (15:00 – 16:30) CET a new webinar of ENSP-ECTC series will take place – “LOOSE TOBACCO Project”. This session is co-hosted with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). Investigative journalists representing the organisation, Alessia CERANTOLA and Andrei CIURCANU, will share the results of their recent work unveiling the tactics and misconduct of the tobacco industry under 2 topics: illicit trade (“Without Trace”) and promotion of heated tobacco (“Blowing Unsmoke”).


“Without Trace” is a series of articles exposing how the companies, collectively known as Big Tobacco, are still trying to subvert worldwide efforts to curb cigarette smuggling. In the EU, Big Tobacco spent years working to control a new system designed to make their supply chains more transparent, secretly using supposedly independent companies to sell their own potentially flawed “track-and-trace” software. In the meantime investigations have found that Big Tobacco is also targeting fast-growing markets in the developing world.


“Blowing Unsmoke” reveals how 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. PMI launched a global campaign last year called “Unsmoke Your World,” urging smokers to give up cigarettes. But while PMI says it wants the world to be smoke-free, it has no intention of making it tobacco-free.


Join the webinar to learn the insights of these investigations and connect with their authors!


Tobacco and vaping industry representatives are not accepted to attend this event. The same rule applies to any entity or individual advancing their interests linked to the tobacco and vaping industry in a commercial or non-commercial manner. There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interests. (WHO-FCTC Art.5.3 – Guiding principles)

World No Tobacco Day  "Commit To Quit"


Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.

The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2021 is "Commit to Quit". The year-long global campaign will help to create healthier environments that are conducive to quitting tobacco by:

  • advocating for strong tobacco cessation policies;
  • increasing access to cessation services;
  • raising awareness of tobacco industry tactics, and
  • empowering tobacco users to make successful quit attempts through "quit & win" initiatives.

WHO is calling for nominations of individuals or organizations for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. For further details and description of the process, with instructions on how to submit nominations, please, visit the WNTD 2021 awards website.


Kindly note that the deadline for submissions of nominations in WHO Regional Office for Europe is Sunday, 28 February 2021.


The nomination form can be submitted by email to Angela Ciobanu (ciobanua@who.int) and Elizaveta Lebedeva (lebedevae@who.int).

Upcoming events

26 January - 12 Good Resolutions to Reduce Cancer Risk

Since the coronavirus pandemic, we realised that being healthy is more important than ever. This is why Fondation Contre le Cancer is giving you 12 Good Resolutions to Reduce Cancer Risk by more than a third. Dr. Anne Boucquiau, Medical Director and spokesperson for the Fondation contre le Cancer, will provide valuable advice during a free webinar on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 from 18:00 to 18:45 CET.
This webinar will be held in French.

27 January - Towards a European Health Union – BREATHE Vision for the future

Join EFA and partners for the launch of the BREATHE Vision for 2030; a collective initiative driven by European level patient groups and healthcare professionals. Breathe Vision aims to increase awareness of respiratory health, improve lung health care and research, and tackle COVID-19 and its long-term impacts in Europe.


The MEP Lung Health group event, ‘Towards a European Health Union – BREATHE Vision for the future’, will take place January 27, 10h00-11h15 CET.

19 February - 14 Million Reasons to Discuss Life after Cancer

On 19 February 2021 from 10:30 – 12:30 (CET), an online event entitled “14 Million Reasons to Discuss Life after Cancer: Implementing the Right to be Forgotten across Europe” will be organised by European Cancer Patien Coalition.
Register now and learn more about the cancer patients and survivors discrimination, as this event will provide a platform for key stakeholders to collaborate on identifying the right path for the implementation of this right across Europe. Given the growing number of cancer survivors in Europe, we now have over 14 million reasons to discuss not only the need for an EU approach to the Right to be Forgotten but also the implementation of a right which has now been widely recognised by European policymakers.

OLAF Intervention on Illicit Tobacco Trade

Recent international operations involving the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) led to the seizure of nearly 370 million illegal cigarettes in 2020.
In a press release, OLAF showcased how the majority of the cigarettes were smuggled from countries outside the EU but destined for sale on EU markets. OLAF estimates that these black market cigarettes would have caused losses of around €74 million in customs and excise duties and VAT to EU and Member State budgets. 

Partners updates

EKHA open letter to EU Policy Makers

On 13 January 2021, the European Kidney Health Alliance (EKHA) published an open letter calling for a new EU Action Plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation in light of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Addressed to EU policymakers, the open letter "Life After COVID-19: Time to Realise a Second EU Action Plan On Organ Donation and Transplantation" has been endorsed by 91 stakeholders, including MEPs, National Authorities and other stakeholder organisations. The ENSP encourages all members to endorse the letter in order to call on the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, as a leading country in the field whose national organ donation reform model has been an inspiring example for other countries, to help pave the way for the realisation of a new EU Action Plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation.


January 2021: 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).

ENSP Resources: The guidelines for treating tobacco dependence.

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