From 20-21 October, the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, which hosts the WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub on legal challenges, joined Norwegian Cancer Society, the World Health Organization, and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Secretariat to hold a workshop on Law and Tobacco Control: Global and European perspectives. Around 30 participants from government and civil society in Europe participated in the workshop. The workshop builds on a series of successful law and tobacco control workshops held annually by the Norwegian Cancer Society and WHO in the years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosted at the offices of the Union for International Cancer Control in Geneva, the workshop also built on the opportunities provided by the World Cancer Congress immediately prior. It provided an opportunity for civil society and government working in tobacco control in the region to reconnect, share experiences, and learn from both global and regional perspectives on current tobacco control topics.
The workshop focused on several current topics in law and tobacco control, including law and tobacco endgame strategies, digital marketing, article 5.3 implementation, and the revision of the EU Tobacco Products Directive. Sessions consisted of a mix of panel presentations, country case studies from both within and outside the European region, discussion, and practical exercises.
Dr Rudiger Krech, Director, Health Promotion at WHO, and Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo, Head of the Convention Secretariat to the WHO FCTC, opened the workshop, emphasising the importance of the law and lawyers to tobacco control and to ensuring implementation of the WHO FCTC. The group was especially pleased to be joined by The Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall, Associate Minister for Health in the New Zealand Government, who presented an overview and question and answer session on New Zealand’s Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan. Presenters and facilitators included Norwegian Cancer Society, WHO, and McCabe Centre staff, as well as guest presenters from participating governments, civil society within and outside the region, academic experts, the European Commission, and the WHO country office in Ukraine.
The workshop marked the first face-to-face training or workshop held by the McCabe Centre since November 2019. The McCabe Centre previously collaborated with Norwegian Cancer Society and WHO on a series of workshops on plain packaging in 2015 and 2016, supporting countries in Europe and globally to follow Australia’s lead in implementing tobacco plain packaging.
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