Pre-conference workshops -- practical sessions for tobacco control progress led by world experts

A series of nine in-depth sessions on some of the most pressing challenges for tobacco control ran today, 6 March, offering delegates the opportunity to learn from and engage with global experts in their field.

The Economics of Tobacco Control workshop was run by economists and public health experts focused on increasing knowledge and understanding of economic principles, tobacco tax models and the work of the newly founded WHO FCTC Secretariat’s Knowledge Hub on Tobacco Taxation. The full-day session was designed for those involved in tobacco control advocacy and policy formulation and economists working in the field of tobacco control.

Participants discussed how the full range of tobacco products and nicotine delivery systems should best be taxed to reach public health goals – from waterpipe and bidi use, to e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.

“Surveillance is important so that you can ensure a tax structure is working effectively for public health,” said Dr Hana Ross, Principal Research Officer at Cape Town University. “That way you can see how the tobacco industry is adjusting its operations to minimise the impact of your tobacco tax policy, and you can tweak the policy accordingly.”

Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS) was discussed in a workshop run by USA’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and covered an overview of the system, how to analyse data and creating maps for sharing data with impact.

The International Network for Women Against Tobacco ran a session on how to better plan for the integration of both sex and gender into tobacco control activities, and how the WHO FCTC and the Conference of the Parties.

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