Making a Difference in Cancer Prevention and Control
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The Tobacco Control Scale (TCS) quantifies the implementation of tobacco control policy at country level. The scale is based on six policies that should be prioritized in a comprehensive tobacco control program. These six policies are:
Points are allocated to each policy, with a maximum potential score of 100. The scale provides a systematic scoring system that can be used by many countries and allows for comparison between them.
In 2010 data were collected in 31 countries (27 EU countries plus Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Turkey.
The five countries (UK, Ireland, Norway, Turkey and Iceland), which lead the ranking in europe, have in common a policy of high prices and the adoption of comprehensive smokefree legislation. Three of them adopted legislation, which bans the display of tobacco products at the point of sale. The UK remains number one and is doing well on all six of the World Bank tobacco control policies.
Turkey was included in the survey for the first time and the surprise was that Turkey is in the top five in the table. Despite a strong tobacco history and high smoking prevalence in men, Turkey successfully introduced comprehensive smoke free legislation. The legislation applies the highest standards (no exceptions, no smoking rooms) and is well respected, according to results of the eurobarometer survey, which took place a few months after its implementation in July 2009.
The results of the tobacco control scale 2010 were presented in La Haye (the Netherlands) on March 23rd 2011, a few days before the start of the fifth European Conference on Tobacco or Health which will be held in Amsterdam from 28th to 30th March 2011.
Progress in Tobacco Control in 30 European Countries 2005-2007
The 2005-2007 report presented at the 4th ECToH (European Conference on Tobacco or Health) in Basel provided the results of a survey of tobacco control activity in 30 European countries in 2007, using the Tobacco Control Scale (TCS), first described in our 2006 paper, The Tobacco Control Scale: a new scale to measure country activity. A description of how the scale was constructed and the original survey methodology can be found in this paper, and the scale itself is reproduced in Table 1. We here report the results of the 2007 survey, compare them with the results of the 2005 survey, and discuss the changes and reasons for them. The TCS, which quantifies the implementation of tobacco control policies at country level, is based on six policies described by the World Bank, which they say should be prioritised in a comprehensive tobacco control programme.
The six policies are:
- price increases through higher taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products;
- bans/restrictions on smoking in public and work places;
- better consumer information, including public information campaigns, media coverage,
and publicising research findings;
- comprehensive bans on the advertising and promotion of all tobacco products, logos and
- large, direct health warning labels on cigarette boxes and other tobacco products;
- treatment to help dependent smokers stop, including increased access to medications.
ASPECT report: Tobacco or Health in the European Union - past, present and future
Written by a team of health experts under the 'ASPECT' consortium, this important report reviews past, present and future EU policy on tobacco control. In particular, the report makes 43 key recommendations for the future, such as:
(i) ratifying the FCTC as soon as possible
(ii) increasing the investment spent on tobacco control for each citizen
(iii) spreading the 'Irish model' of smokefree workplaces throughout the EU
The full report in English is attached below, while an executive summary is available in all EU official languages on the European Commission website.
ECL and its members have a strong policy of not acception funding from any tobacco companies, be it directly or indirectly.
ECL will always thoroughly investigate to check if there is no indirect financing sources from the above mentioned, before accepting a donation or a sponsorship deal.
For more details, please see document herewith (click on link).
Standard packaging, also known as generic, plain or homogenous packaging, refers to packaging that has had the attractive promotional aspects of tobacco products removed and the appearance of all tobacco packs is standardised including the colour of the pack.
IDRC and Plain Packaging (Canada)
Article: Plain packets' law to strip cigarettes of their glamour (The Observer, Sept 2008, UK)
"The Case for Plain Packaging" (Tobacco Control, 2005)
Globalink's "Towards Informed Consent: The Case for Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products" (UICC, 1996)
The European Commission has published a survey on smoking among 26 500 Europeans which took place in 28 countries (EU 27 and Norway) in December 2008.
The full report is available from the European Commission's site and results can be consulted here.
Three out of 10 EU citizens aged 15 and over say they smoke: a quarter (26%) smoke daily and 5% occasionally, 22% of citizens say they have quit smoking. Almost half of EU citizens claim that they have never smoked. The proportion of smokers is the highest in Greece (42%), followed by Bulgaria (39%), Latvia (37%), Romania, Hungary, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (all 36%).
The main key messages -
1- Support for smoke-free places:
The survey confirms the overwhelming support that smoke-free policies have in the EU.
A majority of EU citizens support smoke-free public places, such as offices, restaurants and bars. Support for workplace smoking restrictions is slightly higher than support for such restrictions in restaurants (84% vs. 79%). Two-thirds support smoke-free bars, pubs and clubs.
2- Exposure to tobacco smoke:
In 2006, the Special Eurobarometer showed that a third (32%) of respondents was exposed to tobacco smoke at the workplace. Even if there seems to be a trend towards the reduction of exposure to tobacco smoke at the workplace in Europe, in 2008, a fifth (19%) of respondents who work outside the home are still exposed to tobacco smoke at their workplace on a daily basis.
3- Pictorial warnings:
More than half (55%) of EU citizens believe that adding a colour picture to a text-only health warning on a cigarette pack would strengthen the effectiveness of the text-only warning.
ECL Tobacco Control Advocacy Officer