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European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention Newsletter
27 November 2023
Updates about COP10 and MOP3
Upon official communication from the WHO-FCTC Secretariat, the Tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and the Third session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP3) to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, originally scheduled for November 2023 in Panama, have been postponed to 2024 due to security reasons.
The new dates for these events are:
  • Resumed COP10: from Monday, 5 February to Saturday, 10 February 2024
  • Resumed MOP3: from Monday, 12 February to Thursday, 15 February 2024
Global Youth Voices Calls on COP10 Delegates for Urgent Action on Tobacco Control
Over 30 youth organizations worldwide have signed on to a Global Youth statement addressed to the delegates of the Tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). They demand that the tobacco industry should be regulated or restricted from associating itself with “harm reduction,” “wellness,” “sustainability,” and “producer responsibility;” more so, it should bear the financial consequences of its myriad harms.
The movement underscores the pivotal role of youth mobilization in countering industry tactics for transformative change. ENSPNext stands with youth organizations worldwide that have come together with the Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC) to put forward firm positions on matters to be decided by the COP10 that will be meeting in Panama, early 2024.
Global Youth Voices calls for banning novel recreational addictive products, supporting work on liability, advancing tobacco regulation efforts, and endorsing additional guidelines to tackle tobacco depiction in entertainment and digital media, among others.
2023 Global Progress Report on the Implementation of the WHO FCTC
This Global Progress Report is the tenth in the series of reports prepared since the entry into force of the WHO FCTC on 27 February 2005. The report reflects a period when the world began to breathe again after the suffocating experience of COVID-19, the most serious pandemic in more than a century. 
For the first time, the analysis in this report also was performed by World Health Organization regions and it includes an analysis of the progress on indicators of the Global Strategy, contributions made by the WHO FCTC Knowledge Hubs to the analysis of information deriving from Parties’ reports and an analysis of timebound measures of the WHO FCTC through a clustered analysis of indicators. 
The 2023 Global Progress Report will be formally launched at the booth of the Convention Secretariat at the Panama Convention Center during COP10, at dates to be confirmed.
ENSP delegation at INC-3
Pushing for Tobacco Control Measures in Global Plastic Pollution Treaty Negotiations
ENSP, a member of the Stop Tobacco Pollution Alliance (STPA), was present at the third negotiating Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to Develop an International Legally Binding Instrument on Plastic Pollution, Including in the Marine Environment (INC-3), that took place at United Nations Environmental Program headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from 13-19 November. This round of negotiations provided a unique opportunity to push for tobacco control objectives in this important environmental treaty.
According to UNEP, the rapidly increasing levels of plastic pollution represent a serious global environmental issue that negatively impacts the environmental, social, economic, and health dimensions of sustainable development. Under a business-as-usual scenario and without necessary interventions, the amount of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems could nearly triple from some 9–14 million tons per year in 2016 to a projected 23–37 million tons per year by 2040.
ENSP and STPA called upon delegations to include an immediate ban on cigarette butts as a key solution to protect human health and the environment. The cigarette kills not only up to half of its consumers but also causes an enormous impact on our environment. Cigarette butts comprise 5-9% of aquatic trash and are the most littered items in the planet with 4.5 trillion littered annually. Cigarette filters, from which cigarette butts are derived, do not reduce tobacco harm and are deemed a deceptive deadly design feature; give smokers a false impression of safety, when in fact, cigarette filters have been associated with a more aggressive form of lung cancer. In addition to emitting thousands of microplastic fibers, cigarette butts emit high levels of chemicals and heavy metals that; easily contaminate soil and water, and kills even the most resilient aquatic microorganisms and animals.
ENSP and STPA called for an immediate ban on cigarette filters, considering that, given the above arguments, filters are one of the most obvious examples of products that are extremely toxic and totally unnecessary. This view was shared by a number of Members who requested the development of a list of criteria or a list of products, mentioning cigarette filters as a specific example. WHO stated before and during INC-3 that it supports the immediate ban of plastics in nicotine and tobacco products. WHO refers in its submission to the report of the Belgian Superior Health Council which gives a scientific basis to ban cigarette filters.
Both organizations also put the importance to the attention of the delegations for the need to address conflict of interest. Alignment with the principles of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is key, as it is the only international treaty that offers a governance model for addressing the disproportionate influence of commercial actors.
Despite the fact that our messages were well heard, the last day of negotiations caused disappointment. The environmental agreement should be concluded by the end of 2024, but Members failed to reach an agreement on the priorities for the work ahead towards the next round of negotiations in April of next year, risking the progress of the process.
Therefore, we must continue to put pressure on governments to respect the agreed timeline and to ensure that the largest global litter fraction is confronted with an immediate ban!
Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2023
The Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index (Global Tobacco Index) is a global survey on how governments are responding to tobacco industry interference and protecting their public health policies from commercial and vested interests as required under the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

This Index, the fourth in its series, documents government efforts to implement WHO FCTC Article 5.3 and reviews 90 countries from Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean region, the Americas, Europe, South and Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region.  This Index shows a worsening trend in interference, and no country has been spared. Forty-three (43) countries deteriorated in their scores compared to 29 countries that improved in protecting their health policies, especially in applying greater transparency, not collaborating with the industry and adopting policies that provide a procedure for interaction with the industry. Scores of eight countries remained unchanged.

November in Switzerland: Tobacco Free Month 
gives you every chance to quit smoking for good!
This November, the Month Without Tobacco team in Switzerland offered a quit-smoking program that helps tobacco users on their journey to a healthier life. The program is available in French, German, Italian, and English, and participation is 100% free.
Throughout the month, participants could benefit from the expertise of health professionals, engage in uplifting exchanges with fellow participants, and receive daily advice, information, and encouraging messages.
The program is running until November 30 and represents a consistent inspiration for creating positive change for public health. Share this within your communities and help others embrace the tobacco-free life beyond November!
Upcoming events
30 November 2023: JATC2 Webinar on SAFE
The Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), acting as coordinator of the WP8 of the EU Project JATC2, and the Spanish National Committee for Tobacco Prevention (CNPT) are organizing a webinar on the evidence for supporting the expansion of smoke and aerosol free environments (SAFE) to other indoor and outdoor areas. 
WP8 will present a Weight of Evidence paper on barriers, opportunities and best practices for SAFE and four different panelists will present practices on SAFE. 
Deadline for registration: Tuesday, November 28th, 2023.
Registration and attendance are free. 
Get ready for the
ENSP Tobacco Free Advent Calendar
We are more than happy to announce that the Second Edition of the ENSP Tobacco Free Advent Calendar (#TFAC2023) will be launched soon. In collaboration with the Organization for Medical Students Cluj (OSM Cluj), ENSPNext aims to raise awareness about nicotine as a stress factor, providing evidence-based insight into the biomedicine and physiology of stress and stress management.
The Tobacco Free Advent Calendar, initiated by Darius Lotrean, one of the members of the ENSP Next Youth Group, is an informational campaign spanning 24 days, starting on the 1st of December.
Accessible globally through the ENSP website and social media, the campaign focuses on various aspects of tobacco use. The project aims to raise awareness, encourage tobacco cessation, and allow young people to engage more with the tobacco control community.
Join the campaign for a tobacco-free holiday season and share it with your peers!
14 December 2023: Online Youth Advocacy Forum
Green Crescent Youth Advocacy Forum has brought together youth from all over the world since 2020. This year, the Forum is taking place online with the theme “Drugs and Climate Change” on December 14, 2023.
The participants will be part of interactive discussions by addressing the individual and collective actions that need to be taken in the next decade on the following themes:
  1. Challenges in Illicit Drug Crop Cultivation and Sustainable Alternatives
  2. Empowering Local Communities: and Rural Development and Land Rights
  3. International Drug Control Framework and Security Implications
  4. Evidence-Based Policy and International Cooperation
  5. Sustainable Legal Economies and Ethical Considerations
If you are between the ages of 18 and 30 who have a background and interest in effective and science-driven prevention strategies around substance use and other risky behaviours, healthy life, and would like to gain knowledge and competence in the field of critical thinking and advocacy, please submit your application until December 8, 2023.
14-15 December 2023: Joint event (Athens)
"Sports in tobacco use prevention and cessation in youth"
The ENSP together with the Hellenic Cancer Society will organize a high-level event, taking place in Athens on 14th and 15th December 2023, under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports. This official event is organized for the purpose of highlighting the important role of sport in tobacco control in Europe, the importance of prevention of tobacco use but also smoking cessation.
A hackathon for the design of a digital platform and a poster on tobacco use prevention and the importance of smoking cessation for adolescents and young adults under 35 years old is already running and the winners will be announced on the first day of the event.

On the first day of the event, we will also present a video of Mr. Eleutherios Petrounias, a very well-known Greek Olympic Champion in Still Rings who will act as the ambassador of Greece towards the wider tobacco control efforts of WHO and the EU.

The video will be used as a spot to increase awareness through the Greek TV channels while the English version for a European-wide ENSP campaign. The selected projects for the platform and the poster will be considered by the Greek Government for a national campaign and further development.
31 January 2024: Europe's Beating Cancer Plan Joining forces
On 31 January 2024 for the fourth high-level event hosted by Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, at the Charlemagne Building in Brussels. This marks three years since the adoption of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, showcasing the EU's unprecedented mobilization in improving cancer care.
The event will feature insights from patients, healthcare professionals, and experts, highlighting the EU's ambitious investment and collaboration, and various cancer-related EU projects focusing on prevention, early detection, treatment, care, and quality of life.
Other news and publications
New report published: Getting ahead of the Next Frontier in Tobacco Marketing
Approximately 65% of the global population spends over 6 hours daily on the internet, with 60% engaged in social media. This digital shift has led to increased marketing of unhealthy products like tobacco, exploiting underregulated online spaces.
In response, Vital Strategies launched the Tobacco Enforcement and Reporting Movement (TERM) in 2021 to monitor and report digital tobacco marketing in countries like India, Indonesia, and Mexico. TERM's recent report, "The Next Frontier in Tobacco Marketing: The Metaverse, NFTs, Advergames and More", outlines observed tactics, including influencer promotions and emerging strategies like advergaming. The report anticipates challenges in the evolving landscape, emphasizing the need for proactive regulation to counteract harmful online marketing practices.
New WHO campaign highlights tobacco industry tactics to influence public health policies
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the "Stop the lies" campaign, aiming to protect young people from tobacco industry influence. Supported by evidence from "The Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2023," the campaign exposes global deterioration in efforts to prevent industry interference in health policy. WHO's initiative seeks to amplify youth voices, expose industry tactics, and raise awareness about defending health policies.
WHO calls on countries to safeguard health policies from industry influence and supports evidence-based tobacco control measures. The campaign emphasizes the industry's targeting of vulnerable groups, especially young people, using menthol and flavored products with attractive designs. The industry invests heavily in lobbying against tobacco control policies, causing immeasurable harm to public health and contributing to environmental, mental health, and child labor issues.
Tobacco and Nicotine Trends in Sweden:
Shifting Patterns, Risks and Social Dynamics
Nicotine, extracted from the tobacco plant, serves as the primary addictive element in various tobacco products. While pure nicotine is so toxic that it is banned, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and snus contain enough to induce discomfort, signaling its danger. Many teenagers, influenced by peer pressure, experiment with nicotine-containing products, developing tolerance over time. Nicotine's addictive nature, stronger in young people, poses a heightened risk of dependency. 1/3 of Sweden's adult population is addicted, with most forming the habit in their teens.
Nicotine addiction is costly and restricts daily life, with potential adverse health effects, as evidenced by the 12,000 annual deaths from smoking in Sweden. Research indicates nicotine's harm to the cardiovascular system, nervous system, and brain, with potential impacts on memory and mental health. While studies on new nicotine products are increasing, the tobacco industry's portrayal of nicotine as a stimulant contradicts public health and child-rights concerns.
The rising popularity of Puffbars and white snus, also known as nicotine pouches, among young people has become a concerning gateway to nicotine addiction. Marketed by major tobacco companies with enticing flavors and claims of being tobacco-free, these products mask their addictive nature and sidestep tobacco regulations.
The tobacco industry's extensive promotion, especially on social media, targets young audiences with celebrity endorsements and attractive packaging. A survey revealed that many teenagers perceive these products as less dangerous than traditional tobacco, contributing to their widespread use. Despite the misleading marketing, white snus and Puffbars are highly addictive and pose serious health risks, as indicated by studies linking their use to an increased likelihood of taking up traditional cigarette smoking.
To safeguard children and young people from falling into harmful habits, there is a call for the classification, taxation, and regulation of all nicotine products, excluding medications, as tobacco, coupled with a ban on flavorings in these products.
Call for External Evaluator
2023 ENSP Work Programme
The European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) is seeking qualified individuals or companies to apply for the position of External Evaluator for an evaluation of activities related to the implementation of the 2023 ENSP work program. 

The objectives of the evaluation are to:

  • evaluate whether ENSP performed in an effective and relevant way in 2023 to reach its key objectives within the four work packages (Grant Agreement 101124220 – ENSP FY 2023);
  • elaborate recommendations for possible corrective measures.
The evaluation will take place from mid-December 2023 to mid-January 2024, with a final report due by January 20, 2024. Candidates with expertise in public health, European public or regulatory affairs, civil society organizations with advocacy mandates, and communication with advocacy associations are encouraged to apply. 
Applications must be submitted by December 10, 2023, and should include an overview of the evaluation approach, a data-gathering plan, a timeline, a detailed quotation, and evidence of eligibility. Selected candidates must affirm no conflict of interest with the tobacco and vaping industry, have at least three years of relevant experience, and possess appropriate English language skills. 
Learn more about the conference (LINK)
The latest publications in the TPC Journal
Sylvain Gautier, Anaïs Cloppet, Sarah Mir, Clément Duville, Jean-Manuel Morvillers, Anne-Bérénice Simzac, Katiuska Miliani, Loic Josseran
Daisy Le, Annie C. Ciceron, Katelyn F. Romm, Michelle E. Clausen, Lorien C. Abroms, W. Douglas Evans, Amanda L. Graham, Carla J. Berg
Andrew Kochvar, Yadi Liu, Marcus Munafo, Zheng Xu, Hongying Dai

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ENSP is co-funded by the European Union's Health Programme under Grant Agreement No. 101124220 (EU4H). The content of this publication represents the views of the author only and is his/ her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. You are receiving this email because of your relationship with ENSP. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here.
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