31 January 2022

4 February: World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day reminds us that tobacco consumption continues to be the leading preventable cause of cancer, with 27% of all cancers attributed to tobacco use. By eliminating tobacco use, 90% of lung cancers may be avoided. Two years ago, on 4 February 2020, the European Commission started its outreach on Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, aiming to create a ‘Tobacco Free Generation’ where less than 5% of the population uses tobacco by 2040.


ENSP has had this same shared goal as the core of its mission for years, striving to create the Network, an ecosystem with coordinated efforts for tobacco control in Europe. This year again, our vision for the future emphasises the importance of elimination of tobacco use and the reduction of health inequalities that tobacco causes.

New ENSP video: Tobacco use and cancer

The use of tobacco products is proven to be the largest avoidable risk in the European Union. According to the latest Eurobarometer report, 23% of the respondents continue to smoke cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, or a pipe while in total tobacco use results in 700,000 deaths each year.


It is also proven that around half of the smokers die prematurely, resulting in the loss of an average of 14 years of life per smoker. In addition, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable cancer, with around 27% of all cancer and 80% of lung cancer deaths attributed to tobacco use.


Smoking increases the risk of more than 10 types of cancers. Based on the ENSP Fact Sheet Series #2/2021 – Tobacco use and Cancer: The role of smoking cessation, this video illustrates the role of smoking cessation through some examples.


Read the other ENSP Fact Sheets here...

Join the European Cancer Meeting of the French National Cancer Institute

On the occasion of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the first European Conference of the French National Cancer Institute will be held on 3 and 4 February 2022. One year after the launch of France’s ten-year cancer-control strategy and the European Beating Cancer Plan, and on the occasion of World Cancer Day, this Conference seeks to step up cooperation and enhance synergy to help Europe advance in this fight, for the benefit of citizens from the 27 Member States.


High-level speakers will attend this event in order to find solutions related to five key themes on fighting cancer: childhood cancers; cancers with poor prognosis; cancer prevention; cancer and employment; and international cooperation in the fight against cancer.

Launch of EUREST-RISE official website

Within the evolutionary process of the tobacco industry's technology, novel tobacco products have emerged - including e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, that further perpetuate the complexity of understanding and subsequently effectively regulating products.
This is why, as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Programme, the main objective of the EU project EUREST-RISE is to facilitate the training of researchers (ESR and ER) through an integrated series of research studies, in order to examine tobacco product systems, their mechanisms, and purpose, and interactions between key design characteristics and their assessment in populations of users.
Partner and Project Coordinator, the ENSP covers the overall administrative and financial management of the project and secondments and the provision of scientific support/mentorship in individual WPs through facilitating the smooth exchange of researchers.

To this day, three persons have been seconded within EUREST-RISE:

  1. Polina Starchenko (from ENSP to the Catalan Institute of Oncology, Spain)
  2. Karina Mocanu (from ENSP to the University of Crete)
  3. Zinovia Plyta (from the University of Crete to ENSP)

Upcoming events

15 February: Building a comprehensive approach to lung cancer in Europe
On 15 February 2022, from 10:00 to 11:30 CET, the Health Policy Partnership (HPP) organises a multi-stakeholder discussion on a new vision for lung cancer care in Europe.

Despite being the leading cause of cancer deaths, lung cancer does not receive the political attention it deserves. To help address this issue, HPP and a group of experts have co-authored Lung cancer in Europe: the way forward, a think piece that outlines key recommendations for the European Union (EU) and its Member States to reduce the burden of lung cancer.

Join this webinar to hear policymakers and experts make the case for stakeholder collaboration and the implementation of a comprehensive and integrated approach to combatting lung cancer across Europe. The discussion will be enriched by key multidisciplinary insights, including reflections on the patient perspective and details on policy steps that need to be taken at both the EU and national level.
• Manuel Pizarro, Member of the European Parliament
• Ebba Hallersjö Hult, Vision Zero Cancer, Sweden
• Professor Jacek Jassem, Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland
• Professor Silvia Novello, Department of Oncology, University of Turin; Women Against Lung Cancer in Europe, Italy
• Cornel Radu-Loghin, European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention

Other news and publications

World No Tobacco Day 2022:

Protect the environment

For the year 2022, World Health Organization announced theme of the global campaign for World No Tobacco Day: “Tobacco: Threat to our environment". The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness among the public on the environmental impact of tobacco – from cultivation, production, distribution, and waste, as one extra reason to quit. 


This year, the WHO encourages the worldwide community to concentrate all efforts to expose the tobacco industry’s techniques to “greenwash” its reputation and products by marketing themselves as environmentally friendly. However, with an annual greenhouse gas contribution of 84 megatons carbon dioxide equivalent, the tobacco industry contributes to climate change and reduces climate resilience, wasting resources and damaging ecosystems.


Dr Ruediger Krech, Director of Health Promotion, stated: “Every cigarette you smoke, you are literally burning resources where they are already scarce, burning resources where our very existence depends upon.”. The tobacco industry's damaging impact on the environment needs to be addressed with a common voice in order to debunk their misleading narrative and expose the real dangerous practices conducted under the so-called "Corporate Social Responsibility" concept.
Reducing tobacco consumption needs to be identified as a key lever for achieving all of the Sustainable Development Goals, not just those directly related to health. The campaign calls on governments and policymakers to step up legislation, including implementing and strengthening existing schemes to make producers responsible for the environmental and economic costs of tobacco product waste.

World No Tobacco Day 2022 - Call for nominations!
Every year, in the context of World No Tobacco Day, WHO calls for nominations of individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This year again, ENSP encourages all its members and partners to nominate key people having an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the policies and measures contained in the WHO FCTC and its guidelines, particularly in relation to the theme of World No Tobacco Day.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, 11 March 2022 at 17:00 GMT.

WHO will announce the awardees in WHO Tobacco Free Initiative’s website site five days before 31 May 2022. 

Joint statement on the implications of Philip Morris International's acquisition of Vectura

Following the official takeover of Vectura Group plc by Philip Morris International, a collective of international respiratory societies have issued a statement to clarify their position on future interactions with the company.
Despite strong opposition and petitions from the wider respiratory community, including ERS and the European Lung Foundation, the UK government did not intervene in this acquisition, which has been labeled by many as unethical and against public interest.
The statement issued by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies expresses major concerns about tobacco companies diversifying into health care and consequent implications for patients, scientists, and doctors.
"We are especially alarmed that technology currently used to deliver drugs to treat respiratory diseases will now be used to more efficiently deliver tobacco companies' harmful and addictive products that cause such diseases. This takeover is a dark episode for lung health and health in general and should not be repeated in the future. Tobacco products remain the leading cause of preventable death and disease worldwide. The profits, practices and power of the tobacco industry remain the biggest barriers to change. Past scientific misconduct by the industry has sown justifiable mistrust on the part of respiratory researchers and clinicians. Unified as a community, our organisations will continue to strenuously oppose future acquisitions of health care companies by the tobacco industry."

New amendments to tobacco control law adopted by the Georgian Parliament: a step forward

Just before 2021 ended, the Georgian Parliament approved in December new amendments to the tobacco control law, according to which, from 1st of January 2022 a few substantial changes will be implemented as measures that will serve to improve the health of all citizens:
  • Smoking is now prohibited in taxis, private cars that transport minors, or any vehicle of transportation;
  • Smoking is now prohibited near all swimming facilities;
  • A new framework is provided for the advertising of tobacco products by forbidding the marketing on social media and by adding the term "brand expansion" to the law, etc.

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

The latest publications in the TPC Journal:
Florin Dumitru Mihaltan
Yasmina Al Ghadban, Nathalie Zgheib, Maya Romani, Imad Bou Akl, Rihab Nasr
Aslesha Sumbe, Anna V. Wilkinson, Stephanie L. Clendennen, Bara S. Bataineh, Kymberle L. Sterling, Baojiang Chen, Melissa B. Harrell
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