The Eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the WHO FCTC
The Eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) has started this week! Taking place in Geneva from 1 to 6 October, it focuses on topics such as the shaping of a medium-term strategic framework, which will determine the actions to be taken by the Parties over the next five years, and the advances and challenges revealed in the Global Progress Report on Implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
First Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products
The First Session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) to the Protocol on Illicit Trade on Tobacco Products is the next event waiting in line after COP8. Taking place in Geneva from 8 to 10 October, it will be the first opportunity for the Parties to the Protocol to discuss its implementation.
25 September 2018 - WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products – entry into force
ENSP congratulates the WHO and the 48 states party on the coming into force on 25 September 2018 of the WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products is the first protocol to the WHO FCTC and a new international treaty in its own right. The Protocol builds upon and complements Article 15 of the WHO FCTC, which addresses means of countering illicit trade in tobacco products, a key aspect of a comprehensive tobacco control policy.
On 27 June 2018, with 41 Parties, the conditions for the entry into force of the Protocol were met, making this historical moment another step in the battle against the tobacco epidemic. A natural extension of the Convention, the Protocol presents a comprehensive set of tools to fight illicit trade, among them, the establishment of a tracking and tracing system, as well as measures to promote international cooperation, including sanctions and law enforcement.
The report provides an international overview ranking 206 countries and jurisdictions based on warning size, and lists those that have finalized requirements for picture warnings. Regional breakdowns are also incuded in the analysis, as well as an updated international overview on plain packaging.
Tobacco’s total environmental footprint is comparable to that of entire countries and its production is often more environmentally damaging than that of essential commodities such as food crops. Globally, the tobacco supply chain contributes almost 84 Mt CO2 eq emissions to climate change, 490,000 tonne 1,4-DB eq to ecosystem ecotoxicity levels, over 22 billion m3 to water and 21 Mt oil eq to fossil fuel depletion annually.
The environmental damage that tobacco causes, on top of its negative health, social and economic impacts, makes it incompatible with the global development agenda. Reducing and ultimately eliminating cigarette production and consumption should be
an integral part of strategies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ENSP has launched a Series of Fact Sheets covering a range of tobacco control topics. The first 2 editions are dedicated to Characterising Flavours in Tobacco Products and Heated Tobacco Products.
Public Health Implications of flavours
Research has shown that flavours play an important role in drawing in new users of tobacco products and sustaining long-term use. Flavours are particularly appealing to youth and young adults, especially fruit and candy flavour. Historically, the tobacco industry has added flavourings to maximise its attractiveness to young people, using advertisement strategies to directly target this population. Additionally, research indicates that by lessening the harshness of cigarette smoking, such as cooling effects of menthol or sweetness of other flavours, flavoured tobacco products can reduce harm perceptions of these products.
Use of flavoured cigarettes in the EU
Data from the EUREST-PLUS ITC Europe Surveys, which aims to evaluate the EU TPD, shows that in 2016, on average, menthol and other flavoured cigarette smokers from six EU Member States were more likely to be younger (ages 18-24), as compared to older age groups6. Furthermore, in 2018, 13% of adult smokers from six EU MS believe that menthol cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes.
Heated tobacco products (alternatively called heat-not-burn or hybrid tobacco products) are specific tobacco products specifically produced to be heated at temperatures below combustion levels, causing nicotine and other compounds to aerosolise (“cold smoke”). Heated tobacco products are a hybrid between electronic and conventional cigarettes: they are equipped with a battery-powered device that heats while the product used inside is not a liquid containing nicotine, but “real cut tobacco” (e.g. disposable tobacco sticks).
Heated tobacco contribution to global tobacco epidemic
With this current scientific evidence, national and international organisations including the European Respiratory Society or the French Alliance Against Tobacco have demonstrated that heated tobacco products are shown to: 1) be harmful and addictive; 2) undermine smokers’ wish to quit; 3) undermine ex-smokers’ wish to stay smoke-free; 4) be a temptation for non-smokers, in particular adolescents and young people; 5) pose a risk of re-normalisation of smoking; 6) pose a risk of dual use with conventional cigarettes.
Save the Date:
ENSP International Conference on Tobacco Control
27-29 March 2019, Bucharest
Tobacco consumption remains the single largest avoidable cause of premature death in Europe, responsible for 700,000 deaths every year, and is the most significant cause of health inequalities. It is an interesting time for our work in tobacco control, as the world recognises that the most effective policies are those based on scientific studies and solid evidence.
ENSP organises its Annual International Conference on on Tobacco Control creating a diverse and comprehensive programme that bridges science and advocacy. During the conference, as a participant you have a chance to discover and meet special guests and speakers from the International and European academic Institutions, national authorities and well known non-governmental organisations involved in tobacco control at the regional, national and international level.
450 participants from 44 countries attended ENSP-CNPT Conference 2018 in Madrid
The 3rd edition of the ENSP Conference titled “Meeting new challenges, joining local and global efforts towards the tobacco endgame in Europe!” took place in June 2018 in Madrid.
The programme featured 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.
One of the important outcomes of the past Conference is "Declaration of Madrid - 2018". This document is a manifesto dedicated to tobacco control in Spain, that was created in order to attract attention to the measures that should be adopted in the interest of public health. The declaration will be presented at the EU level during the Conference hosted by MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúa, that will take place at the European Parliament.
On behalf of ENSP Board and Secretariat we are honoured to invite you to the 4th ENSP International Conference on Tobacco Control in Bucharest (27-29 March 2019) co-organised with the Romanian Society of Pneumology, and would like to thank you for your work and dedication to tobacco control!
Welcome to nofumadores.org -
new ENSP full member organisation
NOFUMADORES.ORG, a Spanish non-profit association whose prime objective is to defend the right to live without being involuntarily obliged to breathe tobacco smoke.
The initiative arose from a group of people all over Spain, of all ages, nationalities and professions (doctors, engineers, economists, business men, university professors etc.), who through Internet, after exchanging experiences and preoccupations, decided to use this method to fight against the wrong which the passive smoker suffers in our society. Those being said, their aims are:
To defend the right to live in a smoke free environment.
To ban smoking in all enclosed public places.
To strictly enforce tobacco legislation.
To raise public awareness of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
Secretariat is pleased to announce that last week Karina Mocanu has joined the ENSP team in Brussels as Communication Assistant.
Currently finalising her Bachelor studies in Political Science, Karina has been actively involved in the activities of several European NGOs in the field of diplomacy, communication, media and design. Karina speaks Romanian, English and French. She hopes that her experience, her rigorous work ethic and her yearn for learning and developing could bring a young and dynamic perspective that she would put in the service of the Network.
WHO Tobacco Control Playbook
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.
Is the tobacco industry a normal, legitimate industry?
Tobacco is not a normal industry: it is the world’s most lethal industry, which products cause 7 million deaths each year around the world. The tobacco industry has not changed despite the evidence for the harm it causes: its primary role remains to sell as many cigarettes as possible, and it still seeks to oppose any action that might reduce sales."
What is the issue?
The tobacco industry seeks to present itself as a normal, ethical and responsible industry. Despite the harm that it causes, their main goal is still selling as many cigarettes as they can. But how did it become possible?
What is the evidence for concern?
The evidence shows that tobacco industries pretend to be like any other industry and they engage directly with governments and the community, which is cearly in conflict with the WHO FCTC Article 5.3 regarding the protection of the public health policies with respect to tobacco control.
Claims that tobacco companies want to see a Smokefree World are inconsistent with the industry’s fierce opposition to measures that will reduce smoking and its continuing promotion in both LMIC and other countries, as well as the companies’ own comments about the long-term prospects for smoking, and confirmation that tobacco remains the “core” product.
The tough reality is that, according to WHO and US NCI, the number of deaths will rise to 8 million, by 2030, tobacco being the only industry whose products kill half of its regular consumers. And in the end, despite the efforts of the health sector activists, the tobacco industry still seeks to oppose any action tht might reduce sales and promotes smoking to LMICs and other vulnerable populations and "emerging markets".
New study illustrates a shift in smoking initiation pattern since WHO FCTC came into force
An article titled "WHO FCTC-inspired tobacco control policies reversed the trends of smoking initiation among young people in Europe" by Tatiana I. Andreeva focuses on the analysis of the link between implementation of tobacco control measures and smoking initiation, in particular with regards to young people.
Background:Tobacco control measures reduce tobacco-related diseases and deaths by helping people in stopping and not starting tobacco use. This study assessed changes in daily smoking initiation before and after the WHO FCTC came into force.
Methods: GATS data from Greece, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine were analysed. The risk of self-reported daily smoking initiation by the age of 20 (DSI-20) was analysed by birth cohort and gender.
Results:Among men, DSI-20 peaked in 2000 at 65–70% in Greece, the Russian Federation and Ukraine and at 40% in Kazakhstan; in Poland,
Romania and Turkey, it peaked before that, at about 50–55%. Amongwomen, the increase in DSI-20 from 1950 to the 1990s was steeper andrst occurred in Poland and then Greece, Romania, Turkey, the RussianFederation, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The trend reversed in the early 2000s in Kazakhstan, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine, which implemented WHOFCTC policies in the 2000s; however, in Greece and the Russian Federation,which did not implement WHO FCTC policies until 2010, the upward trend continued in the 2000s.
Conclusions:Upward trends of smoking initiation reverse after a country undertakes tobacco control measures, as shown in countries whichimplemented WHO FCTC policies in the 2000s.
At the end of August, New York Times published an exclusive article on tobacco companies using social media to target youth and highlighted at the same time the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The investigation documents more than 100 social media campaigns by multinational tobacco giants Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands. Netnografica conducted interviews with young social media influencers who were paid to promote cigarettes online to millions of followers without disclosing that they were engaged in paid advertising (those interviewed were granted anonymity to participate in the research).
Key findings from the investigation include:
Tobacco companies seek out young people who have significant numbers of followers online and pay them to post photos featuring Marlboro, Lucky Strike and other cigarette brands. Social media influencers are trained on what cigarette brands to promote, when to post pictures for maximum exposure and how to take “natural photos” that do not look like staged advertisements. In Italy, influencers paid to promote Lucky Strike cigarettes were instructed to make sure health warnings on cigarette packs were not visible in photos posted online.
Tobacco companies organize parties and contests with cigarette brand sponsorships and encourage participants to post on their social media accounts.
Influencers are instructed to include specific hashtags promoting cigarettes on social media posts. The fact that hashtags used by social media influencers are mostly in English indicates tobacco companies are targeting a global audience that includes American youth.
Combined, these deceptive social media campaigns for tobacco products have been viewed more than 25 billion times worldwide – including 8.8 billion times in the United States, according to social media analytics commissioned as part of this investigation.
The petition calls on the FTC to issue an order requiring tobacco companies to disclose that their social media campaigns are in fact paid advertising for tobacco products by clearly including #Sponsored, #Promotion or #Ad in the content. The petition was filed by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Truth Initiative and Vital Strategies.
Left unchecked, this global marketing tactic poses a significant threat to renormalizing tobacco use around the world. An advocacy campaign launched against the tobacco companies' social media marketing in June 2018 by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids details how the companies are doing this and what advocates can do about it - Where There's Smoke (www.wheretheressmoke.social).
One action lawyers and advocates can take is to file complaints or to take legal action to ensure that Big Tobacco can no longer target youth - or anyone else - with deadly Internet advertising on social media purposefully designed to be under the radar of regulators and the public.
Here you can find a draft letter to send to government officials.
Join the movement
Follow TakeAPart on Facebook and Twitter to continue exposing tobacco advertising on social media.
On 27 September 2018, the United Nations General Assembly held a high-level meeting to undertake a comprehensive review of the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. The main purpose of the meeting was to allow Heads of State and Government to conduct a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in reducing the risk of dying prematurely from NCDs, as agreed at the First High-level Meeting in 2011 and reaffirmed at the Second High-level Meeting in 2014.
EQUIPTMOD as a Basis for Rational Investment Decisions in Tobacco Control
"EQUIPTMOD"is an economic modelling tool that can be used by national and regional governments in Europe to assess the return on investment (ROI) of different tobacco control scenarios using the best available evidence, and so provides a rational basis for decision‐making in this crucial area of population health.
The collection of research papers based on the results of EQUIPT project (ROI model) has been published in the "Addiction" Journal (Volume 113, Issue S1):
Theme 1: methods and challenges around the development of EQUIPTMOD
Theme 2: country-speciﬁc application of EQUIPTMOD and policy analyses
The papers provide a wealth of information to support evidence-based decision-making in tobacco control throughout ﬁve countries in Europe, andpotentially wider. The EQUIPTMOD is a valuable decision-support tool available to European policymakers and wider stakeholders. The way forward is to use it to support investment decisions for evidence-based tobaccocontrol.