17 December 2021

The Abstract Book of the 6th European Conference on Tobacco Control has been published in the TPC Journal!

The online edition of the 6th Conference of the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention comes to an end with the publication of the Supplement/2021 vol.7 in the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Journal.
This Abstract Book includes accepted submissions received under the themes of Taxation; Tobacco / Smoking / Vaping & COVID-19; novel tobacco products; Endgame strategies; EU-Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU); environment; Cancer, and the following WHO-FCTC Articles: Art. 5.3, Art. 6, Art. 7, Art. 8, Art. 9, Art. 11, Art. 12,  Art. 14, Art. 15, Art. 16, Art. 17, Art. 18, Art. 20 and Art. 22.

ENSP International Hackathon

"End tobacco use for beating cancer"

Winners Announcement

On 3rd and 4th December 2021, a motivated group of participants gathered with experts in tobacco control for the first ENSP International Hackathon "End tobacco use for beating cancer". With the mission to define new and effective ideas to reduce tobacco use and beat cancer, participants spent a productive weekend virtually, putting together their best projects in a limited period of time, and the results were inspiring.
Based on the final project presentations, three individuals and teams won the prizes:
  1. Smoek - first prize of 2000€ - submitted by Endre Hunnyadi and the team: Bota Andreea, Florina Truta, Madalina Sumedrea, Alexandra Nadia, Ioana Maria, Matt Greenly, Mihai Dornea, Calin Sipos, Cosma Sorin, Moldovan Valeriu, Adrian Suteu
  2. SYNERGY Stop Smoking - second prize of 1000€ - submitted by Ann Olsson
  3. Adictions.AI - third prize of 500€ - submitted by Krzysztof Przewozniak

ENSP congratulates all participants for their amazing ideas, thanks all mentors for the  guiding efforts and support, and encourages both to work together on further development of the projects! Thank you for making this event  a success! If you missed this initiative, you can check the details again here.

Interview with the winners of the

ENSP International Hackathon

In an interview with the winners of the Hackathon, we discovered more about the team behind the Smoek application, its beginnings, their decision of joining the ENSP event, as well as the next steps into bringing their idea into life. Check the interview and get to know them better!

How did you hear about the Hackathon? What was your motivation to sign up for it?

Smoek: It all started when it was mentioned in our ClujStartups community channel that there is this hackathon that has a great problem to be solved and great rewards. After checking the details of the hackathon an idea sparked instantly. The idea was inspired by my old roommate who read Allen Carr’s “The easy way to quit smoking” and managed to quit tobacco use after 12 years of constant use. Seeing him go through the withdrawal stages, and speaking his mind of how he feels and what keeps him going, or talking about what clicked for him when learning how addiction works or explaining his "AHA!" moments when reading the book, were simply mind-blowing.


What was the idea of the project? Can you describe in a few words your solution?

Smoek: In our research, we found out that Alan’s book, besides helping over 50 million people to be free of smoking, had a quit smoking rate of up to 38%! While this alternative solution had many perks such as being accessible and affordable, we understood from our Hackathon mentors that it lacks depth on scientific approaches. Moreover, it is a solution that targets only book readers.


We at Smoek brought the advantages of the book and tackled the issues it was facing by creating a mobile application that acts as a digital journey for quitting smoking, helping its user understand addiction and how to overcome it. It is based on validated psychological findings that help the user in overcoming the challenge and we plan to incorporate an AI component that learns based on successful journeys of the users and can compute new journeys with higher success rates.

Our solution stands out as:

  • affordable - it is less than half the price of the book or half the price of a pack of cigarettes in Romania
  • accessible - everybody with a phone can download it and can go through the journey in even more locations compared to when reading a book
  • scalable – it is a technological solution that can reach multiple markets

Can you introduce your team members? and how did the team get together?

Smoek: We are a total of 13 coming from totally different sectors and work environments, but all connected through our passion for Startups. Our team is composed of former and active members of the ClujStartups NGO.


In our technology team we have Raluca, Calin Sipos, Sorin Cosma, Mihai Dornea and Moldovan Valeriu covering software development, mobile app development and UI/UX. In our product team, we have Andreea Bota, Florina Truta, and Ioana Dragu, covering behavioral science, healthcare R&D and education means. Lastly, our business team is composed of Alexandra Nadia, Madalina Sumedrea, Adrian Suteu, Matt Greenley, and me (Hunnyadi Endre). We are covering aspects such as PR, partnerships, sales, finance, and overall project management. 


Going forward, do you have any intentions with the winning project?

Smoek: We continued the work right away. Until the end of this year, we are focusing on validating the concept together with a psychologist and early 2021 to have an experimental pilot. 


Moreover, we are looking into making an NFT collection for the stakeholders that are willing to support the end of tobacco use! 


Make sure to stay tuned at: https://smoek.webflow.io/

Second prize award received by the IARC scientist

ENSP also congratulates Dr Ann Olsson, a scientist in the Environment and Lifestyle Epidemiology Branch of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), for the project proposal focused on cancer prevention among workers who have the highest risk of disease.



ENSP 2021 Hybrid European Conference on Tobacco Control & General Assembly

On 12 and 13 December, ENSP members, partners and friends have gathered in person and online for another annual European Conference on Tobacco Control, held in Paris, France. During two full days, members discussed the future strategy of the organisation, as well as took part in multiple sessions where high-level speakers and experts presented the results of their projects and activities, with the ultimate goal to advance tobacco control research and find new solutions for a tobacco-free world. 
For this hybrid onsite/online edition a great number of speakers, delegates and volunteers contributed to the success of the event. The sessions covered topics such as tobacco industry interference, the EU SUP Directive, taxation, tobacco and alcohol, novel products and journalistic investigations on the tobacco industry tactics.
Head of Secretariat of the WHO FCTC, Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo, during the welcoming speech for the opening of the ENSP-ECTC in Paris.
"ENSP was granted observer status to the Conference of the Partis of the Convention (…) and it has been playing an active role in promoting the implementation of the Convention for more than a decade."
The 6th Conference was opened by the ENSP President, Dr. Francisco Rodriguez Lozano, along with the Head of Secretariat of the WHO FCTC, Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo, who congratulated ENSP and its members for their accomplishment and thanked everyone for the involvement in the promotion of the Convention and the Protocol in Europe, as well as for the knowledge and experience shared with the global network.
During the event, ENSP Secretary General, Cornel Radu-Loghin, presented ENSP awards to OCCRP journalists Alessia Cerantola and Andrei Ciurcanu for their tremendous work on exposing big tobacco strategies, as well as a special award remembering the Network's member and friend Konstantin Krasovsky, to serve as recognition of his efforts to strengthen tobacco control community and improve public health in Ukraine and beyond.
A special session dedicated to ENSP Youth Group was also organised during the event, with the aim of combining advocacy and scientific approach to changing youth’s attitudes to tobacco and smoking behaviour of young people in Europe. Experts from the tobacco control community shared their experience on shaping smoke-free initiatives and further one of the top researchers on the topic, Dr Constantine Vardavas, held a special training targeting early-stage researchers on how to write a research paper.

ENSP experts support Smoking Cessation activities in Malta

Following the invitation of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Department of the Ministry of Health, a team of ENSP experts came to Malta with a support visit dedicated to advancing tobacco control with a particular focus on promoting  smoking cessation activities. 
During a two-day programme ENSP conducted a Tobacco Dependence Treatment Training for the facilitators providing smoking cessation aid within the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Department and further participated in several meetings with various stakeholders from public institutions and healthcare system to discuss and assess the current situation with tobacco epidemic, most pressing challenges and potential areas of cooperation. 
ENSP team would like to thank our colleagues in Malta for hosting ENSP delegation and organising this special tobacco- and health-dedicated series of meetings and for their commitment to improving smoking cessation services for Maltese population, especially in difficult circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic. 

Upcoming events

17 December, 13:00 CET: ENSP-ECTC Webinar "Reduction Demand for all Tobacco Products"

Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable premature death in the world today, claiming 1.6 million lives per year in the European region, with 2 million projected by 2020. Although tobacco deaths are on the rise globally, in some places control policies have managed to reduce smoking. Millions of people in the European region could be spared disease and early death if effective policies were put in place.


Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable premature death in the world today, claiming 1.6 million lives per year in the European region, with 2 million projected by 2020. Although tobacco deaths are on the rise globally, in some places control policies have managed to reduce smoking. Millions of people in the European region could be spared disease and early death if effective policies were put in place.


The main approaches to tobacco control are:

  1. price increases through higher taxes
  2. advertising and promotional bans
  3. smoking restrictions
  4. consumer education campaigns
  5. smoking cessation therapies.

Price increases on tobacco products are one of the most effective means of reducing cigarette smoking. Studies show that a price increase of 10% results in a 2.5% – 5% smoking reduction in the short run and possibly up to 10% in the long run, if prices are increased to keep pace with inflation. Young people may reduce their smoking at two to three times the rate of older people. This level of response could result in 500 000 to 2 million fewer deaths from smoking in high-income countries, and in 600 000 to 1.8 million fewer deaths in eastern Europe. Some countries have raised taxes to 70%–80% of the price of a pack of cigarettes, resulting in significant reductions in smoking, although smaller tax raises have also been successful.


Join us on 17 December 2021 from 13:00 to 14:30 (CET) to learn more about tobacco policies, illicit trade, taxation, advertising ban, and youth implications with case studies from Russia, Ukraine, and Poland!


Find the agenda and details about the speakers here...

Other news and publications

New report on smoke-free environments and advertising of tobacco and related products

The final report Study on smoke-free environments and advertising of tobacco and related products has been officially published by the European Commission! 


Current use of tobacco or related products and country seemed to influence the appeal of advertisements and interest in trying products. Young people were seen as the target of many advertisements, although current use of products was more of a predictor of appeal than age. Concluding lessons and recommendations concern gaps in the current regulatory framework, implementation / application challenges, as well as compliance challenges.

In relation to smoke-free aspects, this study further documents positive social, economic, and environmental impacts of smoke-free environments, showing that most countries have implemented the Council Recommendation (2009 Council Recommendation on smoke-free environments 2009/C 296/02). Concluding lessons and recommendations concern identified gaps in the current regulatory framework, implementation and application challenges, compliance challenges, and enforcement issues.


ENSP was pleased to provide support to the study team in the organisaton of the country focus groups that contributed to this report.


Read the full document...

European Parliament calls for action!

On 9 December 2021, Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer adopted its final proposals on how to strengthen the EU’s role in the fight against cancer. They include 10 directions of actions, the first one including tobacco:
1. Taking stronger EU action to address key risk factors and social determinants of cancer

The report:

  • strongly supports the goal of a ‘tobacco-free generation’ and calls for, inter alia:

- funding programmes that promote smoking cessation

- an increase and an upward convergence in minimum excise duties for all tobacco products and their final market price

- strict enforcement of the ban on characterising flavours in tobacco products, and a call for the Commission to evaluate which flavours in e-cigarettes are in particular attractive to minors and non-smokers, and propose a ban on these, as well as a ban on all characteristic flavours in heated tobacco products and novel tobacco products

- scientific evaluations of health risks related to electronic cigarettes, heated tobacco products and novel tobacco products

- rapid and complete implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the WHO Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products



SFP infographic on the Tobacco Industry presence in the EU policy-making environment

A new infographic has been published by Smoke Free Partnership showcasing the tobacco industry presence in the EU policy-making environment, after a long period of monitoring the EU Transparency Register to identify and measure the representation of tobacco industry interests.


The infographic focuses on 4 key aspects of tobacco industry spending, namely:

  • direct spending
  • consultancy spending
  • full-time staff
  • accreditations to the EU institutions

Ukrainian Parliament passes a comprehensive law to protect youth from cigarettes and novel products

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a comprehensive anti-tobacco bill 4358. This new bill introduces smoking ban on heated tobacco in places where conventional cigarettes are banned (including schools, hospitals, restaurants, workplaces). Further, medical warnings on cigarette packs will have a picture on both sides and will cover 65% of the packages. With regards to e-cigarettes, their advertising, sales promotion and sponsorship will be eliminated and the sales of e-cigarettes to minors will be forbidden by the new law.

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

The latest publications in the TPC Journal:
Kathryn J. Vitangcol, Cheneal Puljevic, Deepali Gupta, Centaine L. Snoswell
Renata SoliminiCaitriona StackKathleen CliffordFrancisco M. Ruiz DominguezLaszlo BenczeConstantine I. VardavasPanagiotis Behrakis
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