Doors open for the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health
The 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) began this morning when the doors opened for registration at Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa. More than 2,000 delegates, representing over 125 countries, will take part in the conference uniting researchers, academics, non-governmental organisations, civil society, scientists, healthcare professionals and public officials working on all aspects of tobacco control.
Held every three years, the WCTOH is a call for a collective resolution to fight tobacco by working together and integrating tobacco control into our health and development goals. The conference will meet under the theme of ‘Uniting the World for a Tobacco Free Generation’, recognising that tobacco control is a global issue, crossing all geographic boundaries.
The conference format will include plenary speakers, symposia, posters, workshops and post-graduate courses on the many aspects of the tobacco epidemic and will highlight the efforts being made to control it through the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and MPOWER.
For the first time in its 50-year history, WCTOH is being held on the African continent. While tobacco use is decreasing in many countries, smoking rates in Africa are anticipated to rise dramatically. By 2030 the number of smokers in the region is projected to increase by 40 percent from 2010 levels unless there is significant intervention. Africa continues to be aggressively targeted by the tobacco industry, as it represents an opportunity for considerable market growth. WCTOH represents an opportunity to tackle these issues head-on.