April 2018
ENSP-CNPT Conference on Tobacco Control
14-16 June 2018: 
Programme available
Conference Organising Commitee is pleased to announce the draft programme is now available online.

The programme features more than 40 sessions on a variety of topics including E-cigarettes and Novel products, European Projects on Tobacco Control, Health Effects of Tobacco Use, International Tobacco Control Projects, Secondhand Smoke, Exposure and Prevention, Smoking Cessation (Article 14), Tobacco Advertising, Promotion & Sponsorship, Tobacco Products Directive, Tobacco, Taxation, WHO FCTC Ratification, Youth Prevention and Tobacco. 

Two workshops of ENSP partners will be soon open for pre-registration:
  • Taking on the Industry – a Strategic Planning Session for EURO advocates by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids


  • Using Human Rights arguments and frameworks to advance tobacco control, a practical approach by Action on Smoking & Health, US
Taking on the Industry – a Strategic Planning Session for EURO advocates 

This workshop will provide a forum for European tobacco control organizations to plan national and joint initiatives to isolate the tobacco industry and advocate for strong tobacco control measures.  

The initiative will be linked to TakeAPart, CTFK’s global initiative to expose the industry’s bad acts and nullify their influence on policy. Participants will create a preliminary strategic plan, including setting objectives, activities, and deliverables, assigning roles and timelines, and agreeing on next steps and follow-up communication. Emphasis will be given to CTFK’s Big Tobacco, Tiny Targets, a global campaign to stop the world’s largest tobacco companies from targeting kids near schools but the workshop will also engage in brainstorming and prioritization on other pressing issues regarding tobacco industry influence in Europe.

Due to the highly interactive nature and focus on policy advocacy, this workshop will be limited to no more than 25 participants, with preference given to organizations with capacity to engage in policy advocacy, from countries either working toward- or considering enacting FCTC-compliant tobacco control legislation, particularly to ban tobacco advertising near points of sale.

Using Human Rights arguments and frameworks to advance tobacco control, a practical approach

The aim of the workshop is to increase the capacity of tobacco control advocates from the European Region on how to use human rights arguments and human rights treaties to further their tobacco control goals. 

Participants will be trained on how to incorporate human rights approaches into their long-term strategy and program of work, build collaborations with human rights experts, and engage directly with their national governments and regional and global Human Rights Bodies. 

This workshop will encourage interaction and participation, therefore it is limited to a maximum of 30 participants.
For further inquiries send an email to ensp2018@enspconference.org
World No Tobacco Day
European Parliament, Strasbourg - 30 May 
Heated tobacco products: harmful, harmless or harmfree?

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day 2018, the partnership of ENSP and ERS is organising an event dedicated to the topic of heated tobacco products. The discussion and press conference will take place on 30 May at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. 

The event aims to increase awareness about heated tobacco products posing the question: harmful, harmless or harmfree? International tobacco control experts and advocates like Charlotta Pisinger (ERS), Loic Joseran (Alliance contre le Tabac), Patricia Lambert (CTFK) and Francisco Lozano (ENSP) will share early scientific evidence of the potential harmful effects of such products and encourage the discussion on appropriate EU regulations for heated tobacco products. 

The conference will gather members of the European Parliament, media and representatives of civil society and NGOs.
For further inquiries send an email to marine.faure@ersnet.org 
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Smoke-Free Life for Citizens: International Roundtable on Improving and Enforcement of Tobacco Control Policies in Bulgaria and the European Union 
Coalition Smoke Free Life is organising an International Roundtable on Improving and Enforcement of Tobacco Control Policies in Bulgaria and the European Union. 

The Roundtable will be held in conjunction with the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2018. The event will be held on April 22, 2018, from 13:30 (EET) at the Central Park Hotel. It is scheduled to coincide with the arrival day of the Health ministers of the member-states of EU for their participation in an informal meeting under the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union.   

The programme consists of 2 main sessions:
  • Essential Steps to a Smoke-Free Life in Europe in the context of Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
  • In-country Success Stories and Lessons Learned of Tobacco Control Policies in the context of Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship

The event will also feature the Awards Giving Ceremony for the Smoke-out Day 2017 challenge winners in Bulgaria.

The Round Table will be followed by a Press Conference held on 23 April. 

Welcome to new ENSP members
Macedonian Respiratory Society (MRS)

The Macedonian Respiratory Society (MRS) is a multidisciplinary association, founded on December 22, 1993. It has been affiliated to the Macedonian Medical Association for more than twenty years. Amongst its members are doctors who work in different fields of medicine, such as pulmonologists, specialists in internal medicine, infectious diseases, pediatricians,  specialists in occupational medicine, thoracic surgeons, oncologists, general practitioners and other specialists, who deal with the problems of respiratory pathology in their everyday work. At the moment it counts 99 active members, included in the work of 14 assemblies. 

The activities of the MRS are mainly focused on education of health workers and presentation of the latest achievements in pulmonary medicine, as well as the international guidelines in the field of respiratory topics. 

Flemish Institute for Healthy Living
The Flemish Institute for Healthy Living aims to promote healthy living and a healthy environment, thereby helping to create a better quality of life for everyone in Flanders.  
Gezond Leven uses the following strategies to optimise health promotion and disease prevention in Flanders:  
  • Supporting professionals and their organisations by providing methodologies, strategies, advice and training
  • Raising awareness among target groups Supporting local implementation of Flemish preventive health policy
  • Making efforts towards healthier policies at every level and in every sector
  • Encouraging cooperation between professionals and all those working in health promotion and disease prevention or who have an influence on human health

The Flemish Institute for Healthy Living is an expertise centre for health promotion and disease prevention. It provides strategies, advice, methodologies, support of implementation and training for health workers and professionals. These are aimed at all those involved in health promotion and disease prevention. It is for both front-line workers and policymakers.  


Helping young people say no to tobacco: Commission launches EU Health Award for NGOs
The European Commission dedicates this fourth edition of the EU Health Award to initiatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that contributed or are contributing to a higher level of public health in the European Union by working to prevent tobacco use. 

The call for applications is open to initiatives that work to achieve a higher level of public health for EU citizens, in particular through actions aimed at avoiding tobacco use initiation among adolescents and young adults.

Interested parties are invited to check the eligibility criteria and present details of their initiative by 15 June 2018 using the online form.

The cash prizes, which are funded under the 3rd Health Programme 2014-2020 are as follows:

  • 1st prize: 20 000 €
  • 2nd prize: 15 000 €
  • 3rd prize: 10 000 €

Sometime around September, a jury will decide on the ten shortlisted initiatives, and the three winners will be announced in November 2018 at an award-giving event in Brussels. All the shortlisted NGOs will be invited to attend.


Tobacco products Track&Trace system: secondary EU legislation published
On 16 April, the Official Journal of the European Union published  secondary legislation to establish a tracking and tracing system for tobacco products which have to be in place by 20 May 2019.

The system has to be implemented by 28 EU States, and will have significant impact on cigarette manufacturing and distribution process in the EU and beyond.

Under new regulations each pack of tobacco product will have a unique identifier, all movements through supply chain will be recorded and the data  will be gathered by an independent provider with further access for the EU  countries' authorities and the Commission.

Read the full text...
The health, poverty, and financial consequences of a cigarette price increase: study among 500mln male smokers across 13 countries 
A new article by Global Tobacco Economics Consortium published on 11 April aims to examine the impact of a 50% increase in market prices of cigarettes on health, poverty, and financial protection.

Among main outcome measures article considers life years gained, averted treatment costs, number of men avoiding catastrophic healthcare expenditures and poverty, and additional tax revenue by income group.

For example, a 50% increase in cigarette prices would lead to about 450 million years of life gained across the 13 countries from smoking cessation, with half of these in China. Across all countries, men in the bottom income group (poorest 20% of the population) would gain 6.7 times more life years than men in the top income group(richest 20% of the population; 155 v 23 million).

The researchers come to a conclusion that higher prices of cigarettes provide more health and nancial gains to the poorest 20% than to the richest 20% of the population. Higher excise taxes support the targets of the sustainable development goals 
on non-communicable diseases and poverty, and provides nancial protection against illness.


The role of Price and Tax measures in reducing tobacco use in a 4-min video
The Knowledge Hub at the University of Cape Town has created a short video explaining the important role of price and tax measures in reducing the demand for tobacco, and the Knowledge Hub’s activities in supporting countries in implementing price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco.

Watch the video...

The Lancet Taskforce on NCDs and economics:
focus on WHO Sustainable Development Goals

On 4 April, the Lancet Taskforce on  non-communicable diseases and economics was released. This Lancet Taskforce on NCDs and economics links SDG target 3.4 with eight SDGs in addition to SDG 3 (healthy lives and well being) and demonstrates the tight-knit connection between economic growth and controlling NCDs. 
The five Taskforce papers show that poverty drives and is driven by NCDs, but that financial protection from high medical costs can break this cycle; price policies and taxation are effective means to reduce NCD risk factors, such as tobacco and unhealthy diet, and can reduce inequalities; and that investment in NCD control results in increased economic growth.

Ambassadors of "Romania 2035 Tobacco-Free Generation" Initiative

Professor Florin Mihaltan, ENSP Board member, and ENSP Secretary General Cornel Radu-Loghin were nominated ambassadors of the Initiative "Romania 2035 Tobacco-Free Generation".

The initiative unites activists from all areas - political, civic, medical, academic, media  -  united around this theme that deserves attention and involvement. Ambassadors gallery is available online

Each nominated Ambassador offers the certainty that this struggle has high chances to win. 

Read more about the initiative...
Sweden is closer to ban smoking outdoors
It is well recognized today that tobacco smoking increases the risk of developing diseases like respiratory tract infections, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). But law has been more permissive with exposure to smoking outdoors although it involves the same type of health risks, at a lower level.

Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association has worked for several years to increase the prevention measures in the Swedish Tobacco Act, like banning smoking in public places, especially outdoor restaurants. It was done via  the "We Like Non-Smoking", a project funded by the National Institute of Public Health, and other advocacy actions for stricter anti-tobacco laws. As a result, several tobacco prevention proposals, including smoking-free on outdoor premise are a part of the Government’s draft Swedish Tobacco Act.

The Swedish Parliament will hold a debate around the proposals for amendments to the Tobacco Act on 15 May 2018. Decision and voting will happen on 16 May.


Tobacco industry vs Social Media
‘We have a rich heritage and, we believe, a bright future’: how transnational tobacco companies are using Twitter to oppose policy and shape their public identity
Australian researchers Christina Watts, Marita Hefler and Becky Freeman published the results of the analysis concerning the behavior of the tobacco industry on Twitter.

The tobacco industry has a long history of opposing tobacco control policy and promoting socially responsible business practices. With the rise of social media platforms, like Twitter, the tobacco industry is enabled to readily and easily communicate these messages.
The team analysed all tweets published by the primary corporate Twitter accounts of British American Tobacco (BAT), Imperial Brands PLC (Imperial), Philip Morris International (PMI) and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) until May 2017.

The authors conclude that transnational tobacco companies are using Twitter to oppose tobacco control policy and shape their public identity by promoting corporate social responsibility initiatives in violation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. To that end, regulation of the tobacco industry’s global online activities is required.

Tobacco products are still promoted across Facebook
Several Facebook policies bar tobacco sales and promotion on the platform, but Stanford researchers found brands and vendors marketing their products through unpaid content.

Jackler's team identified 388 leading brands. Among those, 108 were found to maintain brand-sponsored Facebook pages, although none of the traditional, combustible cigarette brands run pages.

Further, the Stanford researchers measured purchase links, sales promotions and images of tobacco products. They also marked the amount of likes per pages and tested whether pages used age gates, which require people to say they are a certain age in order to access them.

Researchers found purchase links, or a "shop now" button, on 74 percent of e-cigarette brand-sponsored pages, 50 percent of smokeless tobacco pages, 41 percent of hookah tobacco pages and 31 percent of cigar pages.

The study reveals loopholes within Facebook’s tobacco-related policies that the company could potentially close.

“Our hope is that our study, by highlighting the degree to which tobacco marketers evade Facebook’s intended restrictions, will encourage the company to make a renewed effort to implement its well-intentioned policies,” Jackler said.


WHO Europe Tobacco Control Playbook
WHO's Tobacco Control Playbook developed by its Regional Office for Europe aims to provide a single source of information explaining how tobacco industry players proactively misinform the general public, and offers governments as well as the public health community clear evidence-based responses to their deceptive arguments.
To disseminate this important work carried out by WHO Europe,   the Network features key arguments from the Playbook of relevance to ENSP members and stakeholders in the tobacco control community. Read more on how the tobacco industry continues to mislead the public about harmful effects of smoking and tries to undermine evidence-based public education campaigns. 

 Do tobacco companies take a responsible approach to education and information?

Key Message:
" There is overwhelming evidence that tobacco companies continue to make massive efforts to mislead the public about the harms of smoking, deny and undermine the evidence, and to oppose strong public education programs that would present the evidence effectively."
Tobacco companies present themselves as being responsible organisations that provide appropriate information about the health consequences of smoking, and have played a valuable role in education of children, young people and the community. In reality, there is overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence that tobacco companies have made massive efforts to mislead the public about the harms of smoking, deny and undermine the evidence, attack scientists and others presenting evidence about the dangers of smoking, and to oppose strong public education programs that would present the evidence effectively.

Key messages summarising the facts concerning public support of TC measures:
  • Tobacco companies have been remain defiantly irresponsible.
  • Their "corporate social responsibility" activities are no more than (in their own words) "air cover".
  • Their "education" programs have been either ineffective or counter-productive.
  • The tobacco industry is the last group that should be considered as appropriate to provide any form of education on matters relating to smoking and health.

Read more in the WHO Tobacco Control Playbook.

Call for Candidates: Technical Officer, Tobacco control
On April 18 WHO published a job advertisement for the position of Technical Officer in Tobacco Control based in Copenhage, Denmark.
Description of Duties:

In the context of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) to advise on the WHO EURO's technical policy in tobacco control. To develop and promote evidence-based interventions to reduce tobacco use among adults and youth and stop the tobacco epidemic. To develop technical guidelines and to provide technical assistance to countries in the WHO Europe Region and cooperate in the in the introduction, implementation and evaluation of activities, and supporting WHO country offices in their activities

Apply before 9 May 2018.

More information and application...
Meet our members:
Enkeleint Aggelos Mechili
Faculty of Public Health, University of Vlora - Albania
What is you role and how did you get in Tobacco Control?

Tobacco control is an essential part of public health as it is well known that tobacco use is one of the main causes for mortality and morbidity of the European population. As a researcher in the field of public health and health policy, my vision is to create a tobacco-free world and being part of ENSP is the best way to achieve this. Considering the impact of tobacco use on population’s health my contribution in this field is targeted in prevention and promotion of cultural, educational and policy changes. My involvement in several European projects and my interaction and cooperation with other researchers from Europe, were the trigger in order to start working on the field of tobacco control and become familiar with the role and the importance of ENSP activities. Taking into account the aforementioned, I proposed to my Institution to become an ENSP member

Since May 2017, University of Vlora, Department of Healthcare is a full member of European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP). I’m the representative of Healthcare Department in this European network and an active member of the EPACTT2 project consortium.
What are the biggest challenges in Tobacco Control in Albania?
Albania continues to have high number of tobacco users especially among men while the fact that most of them are initiated into smoking behavior in a very early age is very concerning. Despite the fact that Albania ratified WHO FCTC in 2006 and implemented strict Tobacco Control laws in 2007, enforcement of the laws is still lacking. The biggest challenges in the country is the lack of the population’s awareness concerning the enforcement of anti-smoking legislation and the enforcement itself, the lack of trained Primary Health Care (PHC) providers in tobacco treatment delivery, of the non availability of Nicotine Replacement Therapies and pharmacotherapy for treating tobacco dependence, the lack of anti-smoking campaigns (especially for vulnerable population) etc. Albania is still in a transition stage after the fall of communist regime, where the biggest challenge is a cultural change in several aspects. Change of culture and orientation of education towards a smoke free Albania are of primary importance. What we envision for Albania is a tobacco free future, in which no one  will have to suffer from tobacco related illnesses and early death.
What are you proud of (your achievements)?
Department of Healthcare, University of Vlora expressed interest to non cost participate as a Partner of EPACTT-2 project consortium and work with 14 other European countries in the formulation of a network of healthcare professionals that will be dedicated to advancing evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment. So far, we have translated ENSP Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Dependence guidelines and the material of the e-learning training for PHC professionals. We are also aiming to organize a series of tobacco treatment dependence training seminars within next months to promote the European Guidelines and raise the awareness of health care professionals in Albania. Additionally, we have conducted a research on Vlora University students about smoking addiction by using part of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). Within the next period, we are planning to publish this work, part of which is submitted in order to be presented in the forthcoming ENSP conference in Madrid. Additionally, jointly with other of ENSP members, I am working on a manuscript  entitled “Lack of WHO FCTC Article 14 enforcement in Albania “which aims to raise awareness concerning the situation in the country.   
What are the next steps/projects?
It is very important to implement and reinforce tobacco dependence treatment measures synergistically with other tobacco control measures as their potential success will reinforce other tobacco control policies, by increasing social support for them and increasing their acceptability. To achieve the above, the continuation and deepening in tobacco field through different research projects both at national and international level is necessary. In addition, given that EPACTT-2 project is on implementation phase a significant step forward will be the engagement in the completion of different activities, within the framework offulfilling the objectives of the project, such as: accreditation of 2017 ENSP guidelines and e-learning and dissemination in the Albanian authorities and health care professionals; training the organization of accredited tobacco treatment delivery seminars in real time for healthcare professionals; and engagement in more EU projects related to tobacco-free world. 
Why did you become an ENSP member?
First of all is an honor for the University of Vlora and myself to be part of this well-known and active European network. From a professional point of view it is a great opportunity and a motive to cooperate with experts in the field of tobacco control who are members of the network, share our experiences and ideas and work together sharing a common vision and actions which will also be delivered in local context both in the university personnel and students and though several action to the local community. From a personal point of view, I’m a dedicated “antismoker” and passionate about working in the field and working towards a tobacco-free Albania. Taking into consideration that Albania is in the process of integration into the EU is very crucial for different healthcare professionals to be in accordance with European standards and guidelines.
New published articles
Alexandra Brinzaniuc, Andreea Strilciuc, Oana Maria Blaga, Razvan Mircea Chereches, Cristian Ioan Meghea

Initiation, continuation of use and cessation of alternative tobacco products among young adults: A qualitative study

Milkie Vu, Betelihem Getachew, Jackelyn B. Payne, Thomas R. Kirchner, Carla J. Berg

Validation of mobile phone text messages for nicotine and tobacco risk communication among college students: A content analysis

Georges Elias Khalil, Karen S. Calabro, Brittani Crook, Tamara C Machado, Cheryl L. Perry, Alexander V. Prokhorov

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