2 November 2021

November: Lung and Pancreatic Cancers Awareness Month

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide with 1.7million global deaths attributed to cigarette smoking. Tobacco use is the leading cause of lung cancer; 55% of lung cancer deaths in women and over 70% of lung cancer deaths in men are due to smoking.


A recent systematic review and metanalysis found that smoking yields a similar risk of lung cancer in women compared to men. However, these data may underestimate the true risks of lung cancer among women, as the smoking epidemic has not yet reached full maturity in women. Evidence suggests that within 10 years of quitting smoking, there is a 40–90% reduction in lung cancer risk, and the magnitude of risk reduction varies with the intensity of smoking, time since quitting, and age at cessation.



Cigarette smoking is a consistent risk factor for pancreatic cancer, which may contribute to the development of approximately 20% of pancreatic cancer cases. In a pooled analysis of 12 prospective cohorts and one case-control study, cigarette smokers had an 80% increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with non-smokers, and the risk increased with smoking intensity, duration, and cumulative smoking dose.


Cigar smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco products also increase the risk. However, the risk of pancreatic cancer starts to drop once a person stops smoking. Nevertheless, cigarette smoking is associated with a reduction in survival among patients with pancreatic cancer.


Join the ENSP International hackathon "End tobacco use for beating cancer" on 3-4 December

To identify and support the best practices to challenge the cancer crisis caused by tobacco use, ENSP is organizing a hackathon with the support of Activize Health and FreshBlood HealthTech which will look to define new and effective ideas to reduce tobacco use and beat cancer.


End tobacco use for beating cancer is an International hackathon open to everyone and will take place online on December 3-4 2021 and will facilitate mentorship sessions with various experts on the critical role of innovation and health in order to build strong teams and develop sustainable solutions. Mentors will be available during the hackathon to provide expert insight on content, strategy and presentation techniques.The event will be fully virtual, targeting international participants and the teams can be made up of individuals from different countries or groups. Solo participants are also invited to register and will be matched with a team for the duration of the competition. 

The prizes from ENSP for the best three ideas will be a total monetary of 3500 euro: 2000 euro to 1st prize; 1000 euro to second prize; 500 euro to third prize. Moreover, the winning teams will have the opportunity to be invited to take part in the next ENSP projects and benefit from continuous guidance regarding their business idea. 

Registrations for the Hackathon can be made here for teams and here for individuals until December 1st 2021 - 23.59 CET after which the submissions will be evaluated and the organisers will contact the selected teams and individuals.

Join us as we develop innovative solutions to end tobacco use and beat cancer!

ENSP Brochure 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 dedicates a section of "The Network" to a certain type of cancer and its link to tobacco.

5 November: COP9/MOP2 side event "Maximizing Transparency in the lead up to COP9/MOP2 - Milestones & Challenges"

On 5 November 2021, from 12:30 to 13:30 CET, the Article 5.3 Task Force will host a webinar on the topic of Maximizing Transparency in the lead up to COP9/MOP2 - Milestones & Challenges Among other key experts, ENSP Secretary General Cornel Radu-Loghin will participate in the event panel.


The webinar will feature panelists who will discuss:

  • Countering tobacco industry interference in the lead up to COP9/MOP2
  • Background on tobacco industry interference in relation to COPs
  • Maximizing transparency decisions
  • Harm reduction: Health argument or another tobacco industry interference tactic
  • Profiting from COVID-19: Tobacco Industry and vaccine development (case study)

For questions related to registration, please e-mail - cop9@corporateaccountability.org

Big Tobacco exploiting loopholes in European menthol ban

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, in partnershio with the OCCRP, published a new article entitled 'Impossible to enforce': Big Tobacco exploiting loopholes in European menthol ban (by Ben Stockton, Laura Margottini, Alessia Cerantola, Andrei Ciurcanu). It demonstrates how tobacco companies are finding loopholes in the Europe-wide menthol cigarette ban in order to keep selling products that can get new, younger smokers hooked on tobacco.
This joint investigation can reveal new details of how confusion across Europe means that, almost 18 months after the ban came into force in the EU and UK, nobody knows for sure whether certain types of cigarette are covered by the ban. A breach of the ban could potentially be a criminal offence. Previously unreported documents show the tobacco industry attempting to press public health authorities as well as mudslinging between cigarette makers accusing each other of undermining the ban.
JTI, which is the world’s third largest tobacco multinational, rebranded some of its menthol cigarettes under its “New Dual” range. JTI claimed that these cigarettes contained a new blend of tobacco with lower levels of menthol. Alongside its New Dual cigarettes, JTI started selling menthol cigarillos – short, narrow cigars – in the run-up to the ban as part of its “menthol reimagined” campaign.
For “menthol seekers”, Imperial Tobacco launched new “flavour cards” under its Rizla brand. They can be inserted in a regular pack of cigarettes to impart a menthol flavour. They are sold individually for just 25p. It also started selling a similar menthol cigarillo shortly after the ban came into force.
Preliminary data from University College London suggests a quarter of 16 to 24-year-old smokers still smoke menthol tobacco. The researchers conclude that this is likely due to the variety of alternative products the industry promoted prior to the ban.

Japan Tobacco International avoiding the EU menthol ban

Another investigation by OCCRP demonstrates how Japan Tobacco International systematically avoids the European ban by introducing new products under a different name.

These new products have been introduced around the time that the menthol ban took effect in May 2020, being presented by JTI as products with a "legal level of menthol flavour". Even though OCCRP tested some of the cigarettes at Mario Negri Institute, a leading European laboratory, and found significant levels of menthol, there is no "maximum legal level" of any flavour accepted in the tobacco products.

In addition, Romania is in the top three EU countries with the most smokers of menthol cigarettes, and more than 1.8 million young people between 15 and 24 are active smokers. Romania voted against the Menthol Ban Directive and used data and arguments from tobacco industry-funded reports to support its position at the EU level.

During last year's health crisis, the Romanian government extended the ban on menthol cigarettes with an emergency regulation on the management of the epidemiological situation and did not inform the Commission of this postponement.
Even though JTI has been sanctioned several times and its products are under investigation by the European Commission, the tobacco company continues to distribute menthol products in several newsstands and kiosks across Romania.

9 November: ENSP virtual side event during COP9 of the WHO FCTC on implementation of Articles 9 and 10

On 9 November, from 13:00 to 14:00 CET, ENSP organises a side event during COP9 of the WHO FCTC on implementation of Articles 9 and 10.
Under Articles 9 and 10 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), Parties are called to regulate contents and disclosure of tobacco products. A key element entails prohibiting or restricting ingredients that may be used to increase palatability in tobacco products, including flavourings. Effective implementation of this measure requires a greater understanding of the different regulatory approaches, what challenges Parties may be faced with, and how documents for the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the WHO FCTC can be used to facilitate progress.
The objectives of this session are:
1) To guide Parties on how to use COP documents to maximise implementation of measures to regulate tobacco contents, including flavourings;   
2) To help Parties gain an understanding of the nuances of a ban on characterising flavours vs a total ban on flavour additives in tobacco products;
3) To provide Parties with country examples and recommendations for how to mitigate industry challenges surrounding the regulation of flavours in tobacco products, and
This virtual side event of the Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), organized by the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention*, will feature expert speakers followed by a Q&A session.

The 2021 Global Progress Report on the Implementation of the WHO FCTC is now available

Following up on the launching webinar for the 2021 Global Progress Report on Implementation of the WHO FCTC, the FCTC Secretariat released the provisional version of the Report.

The 2021 Global Progress Report on Implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the ninth in this series, is derived from the information received from the Parties in the 2020 reporting cycle, as well as any updates received from them in early 2021.

The document also contains the first report on the indicators to monitor the “Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control: Advancing Sustainable Development through the Implementation of the WHO FCTC 2019–2025”.


Read the full report here...


The recording of the webinar will soon be available on the YouTube channel of the Convention Secretariat...

2 November (12PM GMT): the launch event for the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2021

The Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control, a STOP partner, will hold a Facebook live stream today, on November 2 (Tuesday, 12PM GMT) for the launch of the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2021.

Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2021 is released

STOP published the third edition of the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index, a global survey that measures how effectively governments are resisting meddling from Big Tobacco.
The 2021 edition scores and ranks 80 countries based on how susceptible their governments are to tobacco industry interference. This year STOP found the countries most effectively resisting interference were Brunei Darussalam, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, while Japan, Switzerland and the Dominican Republic ranked worst.  The report also reveals how the tobacco industry used COVID-19 as an opportunity to build relationships with governments, with activity in nearly every country.

The European Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2021 is now online

The European Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2021 analyzes how 16 countries in the WHO European Region and the institutions of the European Union are affected by tobacco industry, and how far they have progressed in the implementation of Article 5.3 and its Guidelines that were unanimously adopted.

Learning from decades of tobacco industry influence on policymaking, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requires all Parties to safeguard public health policy against interference from tobacco companies or their representatives. The WHP FCTC guidelines in this respect establish a series of recommendations on how best to ensure the integrity of the policy process. This report is based on reports on how the 16 countries meet these recommendations and it shows significant variations within the European region.

The second edition of Tobacconomics Cigarette Tax Scorecard will be soon launched!

On 8 November 2021, the Tobacconomics team at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) will release the second edition of the Tobacconomics Cigarette Tax Scorecard. This second edition of the Scorecard rates cigarette tax systems in over 160 countries based on international best practices.


This edition of the Scorecard shows that, overall, many countries are improving their tobacco tax systems and rates, and thus, scores are improving. However, they are not improving enough to significantly reduce tobacco use, and among a few groups, some indicators are going in the wrong direction.

The virtual release of the 2nd Edition Scorecard will take place in parallel to the FCTC COP9 on 8 November 2021. The Scorecard results will be disseminated through social media and the Tobacconomics website through an interactive map in addition to the full report and data files.


As with the first edition release, downloadable Powerpoint presentation slides will be available for each country. Similar to the first edition, the 2021 Scorecard is based on four key components: cigarette price, change in affordability, tax structure, and tax share of retail price.

Key Messages:

  1. Governments have made insufficient progress in addressing the world’s leading cause of preventable death, even though the most effective tool—tobacco taxation—would save millions of lives and increase government revenues.
    • The global average cigarette tax score has barely risen over the past several years from 1.93 (out of 5.00) in 2014 to 2.28 in 2020. Overall scores have improved in 81 countries, stayed the same in 24 countries, and worsened in 48 countries. Only 75 of the 160 countries for which data are available score 2.50 or higher out of a maximum of five points.
    • In 2020, eight countries received a score of four or higher (doubled from 2018), led by Ecuador and New Zealand, with scores of 4.63, and followed by United Kingdom and Canada, with scores of 4.38 and 4.25, respectively.
    • Cigarette prices in low-income countries have decreased by an average of $Intl PPP 0.28 from 2018 to 2020 and cigarettes are generally becoming more affordable. Lowering these prices makes cheap cigarettes more accessible to low-income populations, especially young people.
    • Tax as percentage of price is decreasing overall in the Western Pacific region (both total tax share and excise tax share) and excise tax share of price is decreasing in the region of the Americas. At the same time the tobacco industry is increasing prices, resulting in average price increases in these regions. Thus, revenues that could be gained by governments through tax increases are being captured by the tobacco industry. These regional gains in revenues allow the industry to lower prices in many low-income countries, maintaining stable global profits while expanding their market.
  2. Despite the economic shock caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the big four multinational tobacco companies are now continuing on a business-as-usual trajectory with stable global profits. Cigarette prices globally are also increasing, except most notably in low-income countries, where the industry seeks to expand its market.
  3. This moment of urgency presents the opportunity for action. Instead of allowing the tobacco companies to capture additional profits while imposing substantial burdens on public health, governments should raise tobacco taxes.
  4. Although the WHO FCTC currently has 182 Parties, covering 90 percent of the global population, according to the WHO, only 13 percent of the global population have adequate tobacco tax policies in place. This discrepancy highlights a significant missing link in the realization of the full potential of the world’s first public health treaty to curb tobacco use.

10-13 November: Conferences of the Sections and Working Groups

The 2nd edition of the Conferences of the Sections and Working Groups within the Romanian Society of Pneumology organized between November 10-13, 2021 will take place ONLINE on the platform www.conferinte-srp.ro
ENSP is pleased to be part of this event with two sessions. Therefore, on 11th November, the ENSP Course "Tobacco Consumption and its effects on the lungs" (EN) will be held between 11:00 and 13:00 (GMT+2), and will tackle topics such as:
  • Harm reduction approach and novel tobacco and nicotine products
  • Smoking cessation in cancer patients
  • Tobacco and COVID-19
  • Very high-risk respiratory disease smokers: tobacco dependence treatment in COPD, severe asthma, lung cancer and post-COVID-19 patients


The second session titled "Tobacco Control Policies" (RO) will be hosted on 13 November from 8:30 to 10:30 (GMT+2) within the Major Symposium Tabacology IV. The chairs of this session will be Ioana Munteanu and ENSP Secretary General Cornel Radu-Loghin. The session will tackle topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the interference of the tobacco industry in Romania; ENSP activity in the COVID-19 pandemic 19; the UICC Young Leaders Program - a platform for promoting tobacco control policies; the evolution of the SMOKE STOP programme during the pandemic.



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

The latest publications in the TPC Journal:
Loic Josseran, Killian McNeill, Thierry Fardini, Rebecca Sauvagnac, Frederic Barbot, Maria-Antonia Quera Salva, Myles Bowser, Gary King
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