14 November 2019
Support Romania in passing the law
to protect children from tobacco 
According to the latest Eurobarometer report of 2017 from the European Commission less than a quarter of smokers from Romania have tried to quit (35%). Since Romania introduced its ban on smoking in public establishments in 2016, there have been significant decreases in the proportion of respondents reporting that they encountered smoking in bars or restaurants. Every year, more than 36600 of its people are killed by tobacco-caused diseases in Romania. Still, more than 28000 children (10-14 y. o.) and 3904000 adults (15+ y. o.) continue to use tobacco each day.
Even though the percentage of tobacco users among teenagers is decreasing, the reality shows that the users are switching from traditional products (cigarettes) to novel products (heated tobacco or electronic cigarettes). Thus, the percentage of 13-15 years old pupils that have consumed at least one tobacco product (including heated tobacco), increased in 2017 compared to 2013 (from 35,9% to 38,6%). Among young girls, this increase is even more alarming: from 31% to 36,4%.

Therefore, smoking is increasing in Romania, even despite the smoke-free law, which requires urgent measures to reverse these trends. Healthy Romania Generation 2035 Association urges the Romanian Chamber of Deputies to pass the PL587/2019 legislation which intends to protect the population and especially the young generation from tobacco.

Among the measures are a comprehensive ban on the marketing of tobacco to kids, an expansion of your smoke-free policy to include new products such as E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, harmonizing the tax rates on new products with traditional tobacco products, and an earmark from tobacco excises for educational and prevention campaigns.

These measures are fully in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, of which Romania is a party, with established, positive impacts on public health in country after country.

The initiative just entered the decisional chamber circuit, having at the moment the Budget, Finance and Banking Commission and the Health Commission as report commissions. ENSP would like to express its strong support for this legislation proposal and encourages all members to act accordingly and express their support to the Romanian authorities.
We kindly ask you to address your letter of support along with the ENSP position to the standing committees of the Romanian Parliament in charge of this matter 
before 26th of November 2019.
Please contact the ENSP Secretariat for further information.
Congratulations to Austria for passing the smoking ban!
The Austrian Parliament passed a ban last week on smoking in bars and restaurants, extinguishing a flagship policy of the recently collapsed right-wing government which had scrapped the measure after it was already on the statute books, writes Reuters. After more than a year of pressure from the public, health advocates, and tobacco control campaigners, the Austrian authorities have finally approved the awaited measure that will ensure a healthier living for its citizens.
One year ago, when Austria passed the baton to the new government, Prof. Manfred Neuberger from the  Center of Public Health, Medical University in Vienna, stated for Reuters that although Austria no longer has a domestic tobacco industry, historic connections between the tobacco monopoly administration and the ministries of finance and economy continue. "There are 5784 tobacco shops, 2417 other stores including gas stations, 933 hospitality venues and some food markets which are allowed to sell tobacco in Austria. Tobacconists, which also sell newspapers and a variety of goods for children, are a powerful lobby. Tobacco products are advertised in and around their shops (which are exempt from smoking bans), and they distribute free cigarettes whenever a new product is put on the market. Theoretically tobacconists are obliged to control the age of young people buying tobacco, but enforcement is extremely limited", he added.
Prof. Neuberger also published earlier this year few papers on tobacco control in Austria and in Central Europe. He claims that he is still concerned about the relatively low price of tobacco compared to purchasing power, the tobacco advertisement at point of sale, the lack of age control by mystery shopping (and insufficient electronic age control at vending machines), the neglect of article 5.3 FCTC by the ministries of finance and economy and the possibility of a renewal of the coalition between the conservatives and the freedom party.

Read the full paper...
Illegal Tobacco Factory found in Hungary
Six millions of cigarettes and a large amount of tobacco to produce even more products were found in an illegal tobacco factory in Budapest, Hungary.  Following an alert from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the Hungarian National Tax and Customs Administration have discovered a criminal group forcing workers to develop illegal activities in a rented warehouse, EUROPOL relates.  

Germany makes one step further in tobacco control
Daniela Ludwig, the new Germany Drug Commissioner announces the initiative to ban all tobacco advertisements in public places, which will include "all vapor products", as DW reports. According to a new report, it has been noticed that while fewer Germans use cigarettes and vaping is becoming far more popular, particularly among young people.

The Commissioner stressed the importance of stopping the new vaping trend in order to ensure a healthy environment for the population. Her view is also shared by a large number of lawmakers in Germany's grand coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats.

Smoke Free Partnership: Annual Policy Conference
15 November 2019

The Smoke Free Partnership has the pleasure to invite you to its annual policy conference on 15 November 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. The focus of this year's session will be on the role of tobacco taxation for a healthier Europe.

There is substantial evidence, rooted in science and implementation, that raising taxes on tobacco products is one of the most cost-effective measures to reduce consumption of these harmful products while also generating substantial domestic revenues, which in turn can support health and other essential programs and investments that benefit the entire population. 

However, the pace of tax policy implementation remains slow, and discussions at EU level are still ongoing about possible next steps in the evaluation and review of the EU Tobacco Tax Directive.

The policy conference will aim to explore the complexities of tobacco taxation and its impact on public health and domestic revenues, benefitting from the participation of economists and health experts, representatives of the European Commission and of Member States and tobacco control advocates in European countries. It will provide a forum for an open, evidence-based discussion on the current status of tobacco taxation policies at EU and national level, the opportunities and barriers in the evaluation of the current framework, and the options and foreseeable next steps in the potential review of the EU Tobacco Tax Directive.

Learn more...

Sofia, Bulgaria: Tobacco Control Conference
4 December 2019
The Federation of the Scientific Engineering Unions, the Union of Economists in Bulgaria and the Smoke Free Life Coalition invites research and analysis authors, representatives of national and international institutions and non-governmental organizations to participate in an international scientific-practical conference "Raising the excise duties on tobacco and related products and limiting their illicit trade as part of policies to improve public health in Bulgaria".

The conference will tackle two main topics: how to increase of excise duty on tobacco products and how to limit the illicit trade in tobacco.

The conference will take place on December 4, Wednesday, from 10:00 to 16:00, in the FSEU building in Sofia and is open to guests from academic, governmental, scientific and non-governmental organizations, as well as to the general public and the media.

The registration ends on 15 November 2019.
The first NCD Youth Conference in Slovenia
6-9 December 2019

After nine very successful European conferences on the topics of alcohol, tobacco control, youth health and social marketing for health promotion, the International Youth Health Organization announces its 1st NCD Youth Conference, which will happen in Portorož, Slovenia between 6th and 9th of December 2019.

YHO works towards health and well-being of young people, through promotion of healthy lifestyles and prevention of non-communicable diseases, including mental health and environmental health. It develops and supports evidence-based and effective policies to assure health-promoting environments for young people.

Find the agenda of the conference here...

November: Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers across Europe. It claims more lives each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined, but only receives 5.6% of the total global funding for cancer research.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month, observed throughout November, provides an opportunity for the public health community to raise awareness of the risk factors for lung cancer and highlight ways to reduce the burden of the disease across Europe.

Ahead of this awareness month, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) produced a short film on lung cancer screening to inform policymakers, patients and the public, the scientific community and the healthcare field about the potential for lung cancer screening to save lives and reduce medical costs.

Further, ERS also recommends that the European Union commits to a series of actions in order to change the fate of lung cancer in Europe.


Thiery Breton: a potential conflict of interest in tobacco?
France’s new nominee for commissioner, millionaire Thierry Breton, is attracting suspicion over a potential conflict of interest regarding the review of the EU Tobacco Products Directive, due in 2021, the French satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné has reported. That’s because Breton’s former company, Atos, was involved in the development of Philip Morris’ system to trace cigarette packs called Codentify. The EU has also put in place a similar system starting this year, which should be independent of the tobacco industry, according to the directive. Tracing technology allows producers and authorities to ensure that cigarettes are not being diverted to the black market.

From Politico : Thierry Breton pledged to stay away from decisions directly involving his former company | Eric Piermont//AFP via Getty Images

In this context, the CNCT together with Smoke Free Partnership and supported by Alliance contre le tabac and ENSP, expressed their concern in a letter addressed to the Chamber of Deputies regarding the appointment of Thierry Breton as candidate for the position of European Commissioner in charge of an expanded mandate. The four health organisations raise legitimate questions about his responsibilities for years as President of ATOS and Wordline, working closely with the tobacco industry, but do not call into question his personal competence.


The resignation of Thierry Breton as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of these companies does not radically change the situation of major conflicts of interest that may prevail, conflicts that have a chance to occur during his term of office.


The links between ATOS and the tobacco companies require a clarification of the role of Thierry Breton as part of his mission as a new European Commissioner characterized by an obligation to deport on all issues relating to tobacco.

FDA reviews electronic cigarettes
FDA's neglection regarding the importance of reviewing e-cigarettes and postponing the evaluation has been reflected in the disquieting number of injuries or even deaths due to the use of this products.
However, the Court took position and set a 10 months deadline, on 12 May 2020. All cigarette makers have to submit their products to evaluation if they still want to keep them on the market.
The FDA is urged to take a serious decision in regards with these novel products with various flavours, but high amounts of nicotine, that increased the number of tobacco users among youth. During the evaluation, the FDA must take into consideration few important factors such as the youth perception on these products, one of the most important criteria when it comes to tobacco. 70% of the users among youth admitted that the reason why they smoke is the flavour, a thing that should be seriously discussed and removed from the market. At the same time, the product safety and its ingredients should be highlighted by the manufacturers and analysed very rigorously by the authorities both in the products and in the aerosols. Lastly, the FDA should take into consideration the rate of using both novel products and traditional products together, instead of switching from traditional to electronic cigarettes. Studies have shown that dual use can be just as harmful or sometimes even more harmful than regular cigarette smoking.

USA: ILO ends the collaboration with tobacco
The month of October ended with good news from the International Labour Organisation in the United States, that claimed to officially end the contracts with the Tobacco Companies and affiliated companies and reaffirmed its further strategy to be implemented free from tobacco industry money. 
TackSHS Project: new review on second-hand smoke

The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of studies on the burden of disease due to second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure, reviewing methods, exposure assessment, diseases causally linked to SHS, health outcomes, and estimates available to date. A literature review of studies on the burden of disease from SHS exposure, available in PubMed and SCOPUS, published 2007–2018 in English language, was carried out following the PRISMA recommendations. Overall, 588 studies were first identified, and 94 were eligible.

The research gap on the SHS exposure burden is shrinking. However, estimates are not yet available for a number of countries, particularly the Middle Eastern and African countries, and not all diseases with the strongest evidence of causation, such as sudden infant death syndrome, have been explored. Moreover, in some cases the applied methodology revealed relatively low quality of data.


•Burden of disease from second-hand smoke was not studied for all worldwide areas
•Not all diseases with the strongest evidence of causation were assessed
•Burden is estimated applying risks and exposures with not consistent definitions
•The population attributable fractions are largely variable among studies
New published articles
vaping360.com/iqos-philip-morris//e-cigarettes/ (Vaping360)
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