ENSPnext Youth Newsletter
28 December 2023
Supporting youth engagement in policy-making as a dual weapon against the industry
The Tobacco Industry is the backbone of the biggest public health threat fueled by the most addictive and deadly product. For decades, this industry has been responsible for millions of deaths. Nearly as soon as the Tobacco Industry was shaped, it has been deploying youth-targeting approaches identifying young people as potential long-term users as an effective means to continuously substitute those who died due to tobacco-related diseases and, thus, maintain its immense body of “faithful” customers. The subtle success of global tobacco control in terms of the decreasing number of cigarette smokers was counteracted/backlashed by a solid playing card of novel tobacco products.
“Novel tobacco products” is a composite name of a strongly diversified market of new products created by the industry to disorient the global tobacco control efforts and attract more smokers. In contrast to cigarettes, novel tobacco products have been accurately crafted, branded, and promoted among the youth. The fact that adolescents are physiologically more vulnerable to developing dependence and the fact that adolescent tobacco use behavior sustains for the whole lifetime is particularly disturbing for the tobacco control community.
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The reports across regions indicate that youth tobacco use is being accelerated in association with the new products entering the markets which later transforms into a dual use of conventional and novel tobacco products. There is compelling evidence that highlights the deliberate efforts of the tobacco industry to target youth as a key demographic. Through various marketing and promotional strategies, the industry has sought to attract a new generation of consumers, posing significant public health challenges.
Tobacco control is still behind new products’ proliferating and yet mostly unregulated landscape. Therefore, youth engagement in tobacco control is an important weapon to educate and empower young people to demand and fight for their rights and health. Youth engagement in health policy and tobacco control is increasingly recognized as a crucial component in addressing the challenges posed by tobacco use and novel tobacco products among young people.
The evidence of the tobacco industry targeting youth is clear and necessitates a comprehensive response from policymakers, public health officials, and communities alike.
In this policy brief, ENSPnext aims to address these targeted strategies to encourage and coordinate significant efforts toward safeguarding the well-being of the youth and preventing the initiation of tobacco use among this vulnerable demographic.
ENSPnext: the path toward a tobacco and nicotine free generation
ENSPnext strives to shape young people into tobacco control leaders. Our goal is to operate at both national and European levels, fostering a generation free from the burden of tobacco and any associated novel tobacco products. Therefore, we tackle the use of evidence-based research in policy and practice to work together towards our common goal of informing and preventing youth from being lured into a lifetime of addiction. 
The mission of ENSPnext is to carry on activities to accomplish the general ENSP mission and vision, as mentioned in the Statutes. As a group of advocates in the tobacco control field, ENSPnext’s mission is to give space to youth members of ENSP member organizations and linked organizations to participate and gain experience in cross-generational dialogue, strengthening tobacco policy research, and prevention. ENSPnext acts as a network aiming at opening doors for collaborations for youth with individuals of ENSP member organizations, as well as through cooperation between organizations. Additionally, it carries out capacity-building activities for advocacy action and tobacco policy changes, building a generation of advocates for societal change.
The 9th European Conference on Tobacco or Health

ENSPnext representatives got the opportunity to participate, chair, and/or be a panelist at the 9th ECToH in Madrid, were Darius Lotrean was also nominated as a Finalist in the ECToH Poster Award.
Youth Session at the 8th ENSP Conference on Tobacco Control

During the 8th ENSP European Conference on Tobacco Control, the ENSP Youth Group organised sessions, side activities and interviews that provided a platform for emerging young voices, amplifying the youth’s role in shaping the tobacco control landscape.
CTFK-ENSP European Young Ambassador Summit 2023

23 participants from 13 countries and one unique goal, to create a tobacco-free generation. A week full of workshops where we learned the art of storytelling, policy mapping, and how to use social media as a tool for advancing tobacco control efforts, where we created connections with advocates from across the European region and with distinguished partners from the United States. 
ENSP Tobacco Dependence Treatment Trainings in Romania, Portugal and Croatia

In 2023, ENSP continued to conduct the Tobacco Dependence Treatment Trainings that come in support of the WHO-FCTC Article 14. Three trainings have been organised in Romania, Portugal and Croatia and involved young medical students or professionals who have been trained to become qualified tobacco control trainers.
Sport in Youth Smoking Prevention and Cessation – Joint event (Athens)
The ENSP together with the Hellenic Cancer Society organised a high-level event in Athens, under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports. This official event was organized to highlight the important role of sport in tobacco control in Europe, the importance of prevention of tobacco use and smoking cessation. The event featured as well 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 <35 years old.
ENSPnext panelists at the National Conference of the Romanian Society of Pneumology (Bucharest)
ENSPnext had the chance to participate to the most significant event of the year: the National Conferences of the Sections and Working Groups within the Romanian Society of Pneumology, in November 2023. Within this event, young members came together with experienced ENSP Board Members to put together a tobacco control session, aiming to engage in discussions that will contribute to the advancement of respiratory health and medical expertise.
Global Youth Voices Calls on COP10 Delegates for Urgent Action on Tobacco Control
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 delegates of the Tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) that will be meeting in Panama, early 2024. Over 30 youth organizations worldwide have signed on to a Global Youth statement addressed to all COP10 delegates and observers.
Tobacco Free Advent Calendar 2023
The second edition of the #TFAC2023 raised awareness about tobacco, nicotine, and stress during the holiday season. In partnership with OSM Cluj, it provided evidence-based insights, debunked misconceptions, and encouraged a healthier lifestyle through interactive content during the entire month of December, with support from European organizations. The initiative aimed to counteract tobacco industry messages and promoted a tobacco-free and stress-less future.
ENSPNext Fact Sheets
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We are very proud to share as well the involvement of ENSPnext in the Romanian cooperation protocol that was signed at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education to start the first campaign for information and prevention of tobacco consumption and the use of electronic devices for nicotine delivery among students.
The signed cooperation protocol represents an important step in the fight against teenage smoking in Romania, which kills nearly 700,000 people worldwide each year. According to this document, the Ministry of Education and the signatories will support the implementation of several information campaigns during the 2023 - 2024 school year in Bucharest, Romania, aimed at properly informing teenagers aged 12-16 about the harmful effects of nicotine consumption through cigarettes or electronic smoking devices.
In 2023 the youth group met in several online and offline settings, consolidating its strategy to expand the network and organise events with different partners to build capacity and maintain the momentum related to tobacco use for the young generation.
During the year, ideas were brainstormed on the link between tobacco and the most important topics for youth such as climate change, policy implications, and advocacy on different levels. In 2023, ENSPnext gained more experience in conducting online activities internally and externally, thus the group was mainly focused on defining its short- and long-term strategy aligned with the ENSP mission, vision, and values.
After the productive years of 2021 and 2022, 2023 has been a real opportunity for the youth group to create better cohesion in its actions and coordinate even better with the ENSP members and partners. It is undeniable that the particular framework provided by ENSP highly impacted the nature of the Youth Group activities and has represented at the same time a change in the mindset and a push towards other future tools and methods to fulfill the Network's mission from a younger perspective.
Darius Lotrean, Romania

"Volunteering for ENSPNext is as challenging as it is fascinating. I am grateful for the numerous opportunities I was offered as a member of this group and for the possibility of taking the initiative by proposing projects and campaigns. It is a space for me to grow professionally while focusing my efforts and skills on a goal I consider meaningful."
Zaruhi Grigoryan, Armenia

"ENSPnext is an incubator that unites young enthusiasts and helps them learn, contribute, and grow. It invests in young tobacco control advocates for them later to invest in tobacco control locally and regionally. For me, the year with ENSPnext was a memorable experience of getting along with new people, making professional connections within the network of tobacco control, and contributing to real-life initiatives."
Together toward a healthier, tobacco and nicotine free 2024!
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