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5 October 2022
ENSP Youth Group Special Newsletter

ENSP Youth Tobacco Control Leadership School


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Created in 2018 during the ENSP Capacity Building event in Vienna, the ENSP Youth Group (ENSP Next) consists of prominent scientists, experts, and advocates that contribute to fighting the European and global tobacco epidemic, pursuing the general ENSP goals. Over the years, the young members had the chance to interact with ENSP colleagues, get access to new experiences and knowledge, and use it to develop a new approach in order to maximise the public health impact on youth.


With a special focus on prevention and investment in training new tobacco control advocates, this year, the first ENSP Youth Tobacco Control Leadership School will be organised in Warsaw, Poland, between 14-16 November. This event is planned in close collaboration with University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), Washington, DC, USA, as well as with local organisers and colleagues from Poland: Collegium Civitas, National Research Institute of Oncology, and Foundation „Smart Health – Health in 3D”.

A unique opportunity for young advocates

The event expects around 40 participants, selected from the ENSP Youth Group active in EU countries, as well as tobacco control and public health advocates from non-EU, Eastern, Southern European countries, together with students of Collegium Civitas and Warsaw Medical University.


Within this unique gathering, the participants will get the chance to build leadership and advocacy skills of young European public health advocates in managing tobacco control programs and policies, as well as to share and exchange their knowledge on major current and future needs, threats, successes and challenges in tobacco control.

This programme aims to cover and support the following areas:

  • Comprehensive curriculum of the interdisciplinary workshop on tobacco control leadership, coherent both with major tobacco control challenges and youth needs in Europe.
  • Workshop materials kit ready to use in further youth tobacco control leadership and advocacy trainings at regional and country levels.
  • Education of around 40 European youth tobacco control and public health advocates able to take lead in supporting and strengthening tobacco control in their countries, with a special focus on youth-targeted programs and policies.
  • Expanding ENSP Youth Tobacco Control Group with new active members.
Stay tuned! More details will follow soon!

European Year of Youth 2022

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2022 is the European Year of Youth, shining a light on the importance of European youth to build a better future – greener, more inclusive and digital. With plenty of opportunities to learn, share your vision, meet people and engage in activities all over Europe, the European Year of Youth is the moment to move forward with confidence and hope in a post-pandemic perspective. At all levels, EU, national, regional or local, the European Year of Youth aims to support young people to engage in opportunities that can boost their personal and professional development.

The Commission welcomed the political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council to make 2022 the European Year of Youth. Following the announcement by President von der Leyen in her 2021 State of the Union address that 2022 should be a year dedicated to those who have dedicated so much to others, the Commission submitted in October its formal proposal to designate 2022 the European Year of Youth to the co-legislators.

To honour, support and engage with young people at all levels, the European Year of Youth pursues four objectives:

  • Renewing the positive perspectives for young people, with a particular focus on the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on them, while highlighting how the green and digital transitions and other Union policies offer opportunities for young people and for the society at large;
  • Supporting young people, including through youth work, especially young people with fewer opportunities, from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds or belonging to vulnerable and marginalised groups, to acquire relevant knowledge and competences and thus become active and engaged citizens, inspired by a European sense of belonging;
  • Supporting young people to acquire a better understanding of, and actively promoting the various opportunities available to them, be it from the EU, national, regional or local level, to support their personal, social, economic and professional development.
  • Mainstreaming youth policy across all relevant Union policy fields in line with the EU Youth Strategy 2019 – 2027 to encourage that a youth perspective is brought into policy-making at all levels.

Activities during European Year of Youth 2022

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This year, one of the Commission's priorities is to coordinate a range of activities in close contact with the European Parliament, the Member States, regional and local authorities, youth organisations and young people themselves. The initiatives being developed under the European Year of Youth will be supported by €8 million from Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps, the European Year of Youth dedicated top-up decided by the budgetary authority for 2022. Other Union programmes and instruments also significantly contribute to the objectives and activities of the Year. Young Europeans have therefore the chance to benefit from many opportunities to gain knowledge, skills, and competences for their professional development, and to strengthen their civic engagement to shape Europe's future.



Youth opportunities at the EU level

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions:

Doctoral Networks 2022

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Through the Doctoral Networks, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions will support institutions and organisations in implementing excellent doctoral training programmes in academia, industry and business.
These Networks aim to train creative, entrepreneurial, innovative and resilient doctoral candidates, able to face current and future challenges and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit.
The MSCA Doctoral Networks will raise the attractiveness and excellence of doctoral training in Europe. They will equip researchers with the right combination of research-related and transferable competences and provide them with enhanced career perspectives in both the academic and non-academic sectors through international, interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility combined with an innovation-oriented mind-set.

Become a Horizon Europe Young Observer

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As part of the European Year of Youth 2022, master's students in the EU are invited to become "Young Observers" in Horizon Europe proposal evaluations, having the opportunity to follow closely how the EU selects projects for funding. For this purpose, participants will:

  • Observe the work of independent experts evaluating proposals. This is a unique opportunity to experience directly how the EU budget for Horizon Europe is used, by selecting the best proposals in a fair and impartial evaluation process within a fiercely competitive environment.
  • Gain knowledge and support to develop skills relevant for assessing proposals, getting an insider’s view and awareness of the opportunities of the EU funding programmes, useful at a later stage in the career.
  • Receive a ‘Young Observer’ certificate, awarded by the European Commission.
  • Play a pivotal role in testing this new initiative, by giving feedback to the European Commission and taking part in follow-up actions to inspire young people to engage with research. 

Other news and youth events

2nd NCD Youth Conference

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From 29th August to 1st September 2022, the 2nd NCD Youth Conference took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Organised by Youth Health Organization, the conference brought together more than 70 international participants representing the Public Health and Youth sectors.
The main theme was "Health Literacy in the context of NCDs" which allowed participants to explore the aspects and perspectives of this topic and the field of youth health. The main goal was to empower youth workers and leaders to set up healthy environments for their constituents locally and improve the participants’ level of health literacy and their competencies for working in the field of NCDs. ENSP was represented by Karina Mocanu during the opening plenary, as well as during the special parallel session dedicated to " Health literacy & Alcohol, tobacco and other substances".

Within the closing plenary, YHO launched an informal Youth Alliance for Health Literacy that is supported by the Ljubljana Declaration. More news about this to follow!
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European Allergy and Asthma Youth Parliament

The European Allergy and Asthma Youth Parliament is a group of young patient advocates aged 16-30 who meet regularly to influence EU policy around food safety, air quality and the environment, digital healthcare, One Health, and improving mobility for young people. Through the Youth Parliament, they gain confidence as young patient advocates and offer their unique perspectives to policymaking.
As a diverse network of young patients, the team is equipped with a variety of personal experiences and backgrounds, which we use in our aims to improve our skills as patient ambassadors. The Youth Parliament is open to all young people in Europe living with allergy or asthma, or scientific advisors and healthcare professionals who are interested in understanding the patients’ perspective.
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As part of their 2022 Capacity Building training to enhance their understanding of the European Union and the tools available to them to influence it, the Youth Parliament organised a side event where they invited speakers from prominent European youth organisations to provide insight into their work as advocates based on the following topic: "How do I find my voice as a young person in the EU?".


Among other relevant organisations, ENSP Youth Group had the opportunity to be represented at this event by Karina Mocanu, where Youth Parliament members listened to experiences of campaigning in and advocating towards the EU, to learn of different perspectives and approaches. As the central focus of the Youth Parliament is improving healthcare for young people, discussions explored different factors which impact health in terms of both smoking prevention and cessation.

Statement of the Youth

on the Intergenerational Responsibility of the Tobacco Industry

On the occasion of International Youth Day on August 12,  global organizations representing the youth have released a statement condemning the tobacco industry’s creation of a new generation of addiction and calling for governments to make the tobacco companies pay for past, present and future harms.

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The youth spoke on behalf of themselves as well as the future generation to seek justice and compensation and to ensure that the tobacco industry does not get a seat at the table. The statement outlined the tobacco industry’s hand in the vaping epidemic, digital marketing, sports sponsorship , child labor,  environmental harms, including accumulated toxic single use plastics in the oceans, which are covered up by fake philanthropies and dubious grants.

ENSP joined the call of the global youth. “When government allows the tobacco industry to influence tobacco control or vaping policy, they are serving the heads of our children to the tobacco industry on a platter. We should not allow this,” says ENSP Secretary General, Cornel Radu-Loghin.


According to the statement, vaping policies should consider primarily the risks of youth addiction / recreational use. The youth also wants governments to exact tobacco industry accountability and liability, which can come in the form of revocation of licenses, compensation for harms, financial guarantees for future harms, and can involve court cases, tobacco surcharges, penalties, fees or taxes, among others.


Tobacco causes 8 million deaths a year in addition to causing addiction and environmental harm (Optional to add Local Data). Single-use plastics in cigarette packs and butts alone cause at least 20B USD annually in marine resource losses (Optional to add local data).  Overall, the losses outweigh any economic gains of the industry, costing USD 1.4 trillion in economic losses annually.


Read the full statement...

The EU Single-Use Plastics Directive and its impact on tobacco products: A policy analysis

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In an article published in Public Heamth and Toxicology Journal, it was analyed how single-use plastics (SUPs), which are used only once or briefly, have become a significant source of litter on European beaches and seas. The European Union (EU), approved the SUP Directive after acknowledging the significant harm that SUPs cause to the environment, human health, and the economy. 
The SUP Directive requires all relevant parties, including plastics manufacturers, recyclers, retailers, and consumers, to take the appropriate actions and make the necessary investments to protect the environment.

The primary objective of the SUP Directive is to prevent and minimize the negative effects that some plastic products have on the environment, particularly the marine environment, as well as on human health. In an effort to combat marine litter, the Directive imposes restrictions and criteria on SUPs that fall under the purview of specific categories and items made from oxo-degradable plastic. 

Become a European Youth Ambassador in Tobacco Control!

Every year, the ENSP offers the possibility for young individuals to interact with ENSP longstanding members and experienced partners within a traineeship programme. In 2022, ENSP opened a few positions in order to place selected candidates either in the ENSP office in Brussels, or within the ENSP members' offices across Europe.
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In 2022, the selected interns will support the network's activity, assisting in running EU-funded projects and other activities related to the Youth Group, working within a polyvalent team in Warsaw or in Brussels,
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The trainees will also have the opportunity to participate freely in the Youth Tobacco Control Leadership Programme organised in Warsaw, as well as participate in other activities, meetings, or conferences that might arise during their internship.
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