5 September 2019
TackSHS Project Final Conference 
8 October, European Parliament, Brussels

The TackSHS Project Consortium is pleased to announce that the project’s final conference will take place on October 8th at the European Parliament (Brussels).

Tackling tobacco-related chronic diseases in Europe: towards healthy populations protected from tobacco and second-hand smoke

Tuesday, 8 October 2019 from 12:00 to 16:00

European Parliament, Brussels

Meeting hosted by MEP Cristian-Silviu Buşoi

Dr Esteve Fernández, TackSHS Coordinator, would be delighted to welcome you at this event. During the conference, the main project findings and key lessons learned will be presented as well as the trajectory of further tobacco control policy and research in Europe will be discussed.

In order to attend the event, please fill in the Registration Form at your earliest convenience.

Workshop for Journalists: “Tobacco harm reduction: lies, truths and strategies"

On 3 September, the workshop titled "Tobacco harm reduction: lies, truths and strategies" took place in Madrid, Spain. Dr María Luisa Carcedo, the Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare opened the event which gathered representatives of the main Spanish and world health authorities and scientific societies to talk about the new forms of nicotine consumption, tobacco industry's marketing strategies, impact on public health and other acute issues related to the topic of tobacco harm reduction.

The event also aimed at getting the maximum representation of the health community and creating a great impact in the media.

The workshop was live-streamed through the 
ANIS website, YouTube and through Facebook. More than 13 000 followed the YouTube video broadcast.

Watch the broadcast here...[ES]
ENSP co-organised the workshop and President Francisco Lozano spoke on behalf of the Network during the event
Rare Cancer Agenda 2030 and the European Parliament
11 September, Brussels
The final event of the  EU Joint Action on Rare Cancers (JARC) to be held at the European Parliament on September 11, 14:30 – 16:30.
JARC ends this month after three years of work with 34 Associated Partners and 18 Member States. JARC has primarily focused on the European Reference Networks (ERNs) devoted to rare cancers, namely trying to optimise the process of their development in the areas of quality of care, epidemiology, research and innovation, education and state-of-the-art definition on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of rare cancers.

This meeting at the European Parliament is aimed to present the final JARC recommendations (Rare Cancer Agenda 2030) and to make an assessment of where we are and where we would like to go in the future. Attend the event to learn more about the JARC recommendations and participate in the debate on how we will tackle rare cancers in the next decade.

Learn more and register to attend...
ENSP Fact Sheets Series 2019
ENSP has launched the second Series of Fact Sheets covering a range of tobacco control topics. The latest 3 editions are dedicated to Tobacco Taxation, Emerging and Novel Tobacco Products and Impact of novel and emerging products AND youth.

Context: the tobacco epidemic in Europe

High prevalence: Compared to the rest of the world, the WHO Europe Region has the highest prevalence of tobacco smoking adults and among the highest smoking rates among adolescents.

Direct health costs: Tobacco-related disease

Indirect costs: Premature death, disability due to disease, decreased productivity

High morbidity and mortality: Tobacco use is estimated to be responsible for 16% of all deaths in adults above the age of 30 in the WHO Europe Region and a major contributor to socioeconomic disparity.

What are ‘novel tobacco products’?

According to the EU Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU), a ‘novel tobacco product’ is defined as a tobacco product which does not fall into any of the following categories: cigarettes, roll-you-own tobacco, pipe tobacco, waterpipe tobacco, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco, nasal tobacco or tobacco for oral use ; and was placed on the market after 19 May 2014.

ENSP represented at CHEST Congress 2019 in Greece
CHEST Regional Congress 2019, co-hosted by the Hellenic Thoracic Society and CHEST took place in Athens, Greece on 27-29 June 2019 and hosted outstanding sessions covering a multitude of topics, including interstitial lung disease, COPD, asthma, lung cancer, pleural disease, sarcoidosis, pulmonary hypertension and more. ENSP Secretary General, Cornel Radu-Loghin attended the event and spoke on tobacco control from the Human Rights perspective.

 Read more about the CHEST Congress...
Civil Society Guide for a Healthy Europe

Civil society organisations from across sectors, such as health, development, environment, food, agriculture, social affairs, trade, have developed a Guide & Phonebook on how newly elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) can improve people's health in Europe and beyond by ensuring the implementation of a Health in All Policies approach.

In the last legislature, health and social justice issues significantly fell down the EU political agenda. This resulted in missed opportunities to decrease health inequalities, to increase the years people spend in good health, and to reduce societal costs related to ill-health.

New MEPs will have the unique opportunity to take a strategic leadership role in putting people's physical and mental health and their well-being at the center of EU policy-making
. By doing so, you will restore confidence in the European project at a crucial time of unprecedented change in political and public life.
The latest WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic

Many governments are making progress in the fight against tobacco, with 5 billion people today living in countries that have introduced smoking bans, graphic warnings on packaging and other effective tobacco control measures - four times more people than a decade ago. But a new WHO report shows many countries are still not adequately implementing policies, including helping people quit tobacco, that can save lives from tobacco.

The seventh WHO Report on the global tobacco epidemic ( "Offering help to quit tobacco use") analyses national efforts to implement the most effective measures from the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) that are proven to reduce demand for tobacco. These measures, like the “MPOWER” interventions, have been shown to save lives and reduce costs from averted health care expenditure.

The MPOWER report was launched in 2007 to promote government action on six tobacco control strategies in-line with the WHO FCTC to:

  • Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies.
  • Protect people from tobacco smoke.
  • Offer help to quit tobacco use.
  • Warn people about the dangers of tobacco.
  • Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
  • Raise taxes on tobacco.

Updates from around the world

Austria: ban on smoking in bars and restaurants

Despite the tobacco industry's lobbying for years, the public will won in Austria. Austrian lawmakers voted at the beginning of the month of July to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. Most likely, the law will come into force on November 1.


Sweden: towards a smoke-free society

Sweden has taken a step closer to becoming a smoke-free country, with the introduction of new smoking laws in public places. Starting with July 1, the Swedes can no longer light cigarettes in certain public spaces, such as playgrounds, train stations and even restaurants and bars, and the ban has been extended to electronic cigarettes.


Moldova: moves forward with regulation of heated tobacco

The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova voted unanimously in the second reading to amend the Law on tobacco control, past July. Most changes are related to tobacco products that do not burn, but heat up, such as IQOS or Glo products.

What has changed and when will they take effect?

In force since its publication (in August 2019):
1. The economic agents that sell tobacco products in small spaces (up to 20 meter squares) at a distance of up to 200m from the medical and educational institutions will be fined by 12500-20000 Moldavian lei.
2. The same excise duty applies for heated tobacco tobacco products (Heets) as for filter cigarettes.

It is also important to note that the tobacco definition will include also IQOS use, stating with January 2020. Other effects regarding the price and will follow in January and May 2020.


Greece: new government pledges to implement the smoking ban

Even though smoking is banned by the law, in reality, Greece still allows smoking in enclosed public places. EURACTIV article refers to the 2008 anti-smoking law which was never put in practice. For this, Athens has been strongly criticised by the European Commission.

The newly-elected centre-right government (New Democracy-EPP) in Greece has vowed to finally implement the smoking ban in enclosed public places.


Professor Behrakis appointed as Head of the Expert Committee on smoking control

The Guardian reports that Panagiotis Behrakis, a prominent respiratory physiologist long at the forefront of global efforts to combat tobacco addition, would spearhead the anti-smoking drive in Greece.

“For the first time there is the political will to tackle the problem,” the ex-Harvard professor told the Guardian. “We have the support of public opinion. Repeated surveys have shown that about 76% of people are angry that the law has not yet been enforced.”
Although there has been improvement, with data showing that Greeks have increasingly dropped the habit, the country still had the worst record for passive smoking in the EU, he said.  “A lot has been done in schools to change attitudes,” adds Behrakis, who also heads the Joint Action on Tobacco Control in Europe.

“There is nothing better than the brains of young boys and girls who more and more are encouraging their parents to give up.”  

In the coming weeks, a new hotline will be established for violations to be reported by members of the public. As the crackdown intensifies, police will be actively enrolled.  Stiff penalties, foreseen in the original legislation, will also be enforced. “Fines range from €50 to €500 for offenders and, in the event of repeated violations, businesses will be closed,” says Behrakis. “Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are the biggest problem.”


United States: E-cigarette producer targets the young generation

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc funded a “holistic health education” camp as part of efforts to market directly to school-aged children, members of a U.S. congressional panel said on Thursday, citing internal company documents (according to Reuters). 
A large amount of money was redirected to set up a five-week “holistic health education” summer camp at a Maryland charter school, recruiting children from 3rd through 12th grades, and offering thousands of dollars to schools using the company’s “youth prevention and education” programs for students, including those caught using e-cigarette products. Several committee members said Juul’s initiatives appeared similar to past efforts by the tobacco industry to reach young people under the guise of smoking prevention programs.


Plain Packaging Update

Slovenia won the battle for plain packaging

On 1 July, Slovenia achieved an important result in protecting the health of the citizens from the tobacco epidemic. During the session of Committee on Health, a majority of parliamentarians have voted against of the new proposed law to 3 year-delay of entering into force of the plain packaging of tobacco products in Slovenia. Thus, the plain packaging will be enforced on 1 January 2020 as initially planned.

Thailand joins the Plain Packaging Movement

Starting 12 September 2019, all cigarettes in Thailand must be sold and repacked in brown-coloured packs with cigarette brand names printed in a standardised font type, size, colour, and location, without brand colors or logos by 12 December 2019. The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) announces that Thailand is  the first country in the ASEAN region and Asia at large to usher in standardised tobacco packaging.

Investigation on diseases associated with e-cigarette use

On August 27, FDA reported that "215 possible cases have been reported from 25 states, and additional reports of pulmonary illness are under investigation. States are completing their own investigations and verifications of cases based on Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released standardised case definition. While some cases in each of the states are similar and appear to be linked to e-cigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what is causing the respiratory illnesses."
In a context of many other illnesses reports, the FDA together with CDC continue to investigate and to analyse the samples in order to find out more information about these unknown substances and what is the real damage that they are causing. Both entities are continuously advising not to use any of these products and encouraging the public to submit any useful information they might dispose of.


Industry's Lobbying in Geneva

While the controversy surrounding Philip Morris's sponsorship at the Dubai expo is raging, former ambassador Thomas Borer is lobbying international organisations in Geneva for Juul, a company specialised in e-cigarette products.
It is revealed that cigarette manufacturers, whether electronic or conventional, are still very active in public relations and the worst part is that sponsoring is only the visible part of their activities. Behind the scenes, the tobacco lobby has been trying to make its way into international Geneva for a while now.


Stay Tuned: The 5th European Conference on Tobacco Control - June 2020, Paris

New published articles
Justin T. McDaniel, Robert Klesges

Did the introduction of pictorial health warnings increase information seeking for smoking cessation?: Time-series analysis of Google Trends data in six countries
Anton E. KunstCasper van SplunterSigrid A. TroelstraJizzo R. Bosdriesz

Factors associated with hookah smoking among women: A systematic review
Sakineh DadipoorGerjo KokTeamur AghamolaeiAli HeyraniMohtasham GhaffariAmin Ghanbarnezhad

Tobacco use among male inmates and their attitudes toward its prevention in Khartoum State: A cross-sectional study
Elhadi M. Awooda, Dina E. Shashati

Recommendations on how to achieve tobacco-free nations in Europe
Marc C. Willemsen, Bethany Hipple Walters, Daniel Kotz, Linda Bauld

The use of tobacco in online trailers of top-grossing movies
Christopher M. SeitzMatthew CraineJosh Yates
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