Compared to the rest of the world, the WHO European Region has one of the highest proportions of deaths attributable to tobacco. Eurobarometer 429/2015 indicates that almost one third of European citizens currently smoke, including cigarettes, cigars and pipes. The highest rates of tobacco consumption were found in Southern countries such as Greece (38%) and in Bulgaria (35%), while Nordic states have the lowest rates, with only 11% in Sweden and 19% in Finland. The rate of tobacco use differs substantially from one country to another, not only according to people’s level of education, income and occupation but also country of residence. This means that European citizens are facing the harsh reality of health inequalities, not only at national level but also at European level. Within this intricate context, ENSP is determined in 2017 to work at local and national levels to tackle the inequalities that are linked to tobacco use, and more specifically supporting countries that are lagging behind in implementing the TPD 2014/40/EU and WHO FCTC. With activities based on three main pillars: “Research, Prevention and Treatment”, ENSP is determined to: 1. Reduce the demand for tobacco products by tackling illicit trade; 2. Prevent young people from taking up by challenging targeted marketing and encourage tax increase; 3. Contribute to tobacco-related scientific research; 4. Facilitate the provision for tobacco dependence treatment. With exhaustive communication, the 2017 activities will be instrumental to the denormalisation of tobacco in Europe. While it will continue to work at European level with the Parliament, the European Commission and other Brussels-based and international partners to advocate for tobacco control focus policies and activities (f.e. revision of Directive 2011/64/EU on excise duties), ENSP is committed to support EU Member States as well as neighboring countries at national level, providing them with specific tailored support and leadership.
The tobacco pandemic causes the death of 700.000 European citizens every year. Compared to the rest of the world, the WHO European Region has one of the highest proportions of deaths attributable to tobacco. According to the Special Eurobarometer 429/2015 almost one third of European citizens currently smoke tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars and pipes. As smoking is responsible for half the difference in deaths across socio-economic groups, tobacco control has a major role to play in reducing health and social inequalities in Europe.
With an increased capacity within its Secretariat, ENSP has had the challenging task in 2016 to locally support its network members in the implementation of the TPD 2014/40/EU after its transposition into national laws by the month of May 2016. With activities based on scientific evidence and academic research, including a scientific committee, a new peer reviewed journal and a network of universities involved in tobacco control, ENSP has all the necessary competences and expertise to create a real impact in the de-normalisation of tobacco use in Europe. Remaining the main structured network specifically dedicated to tobacco control at European level, its work highly contributes to the comprehensive coordination of national and international tobacco control initiatives.
The ENSP work programmes are structured on the basis its priority activities, as well as taking into consideration the results, experience and learning of previous years. Overall objectives for 2017 included:
• Working with local, regional and national actors to support the implementation of the FCTC and the transposition of the TPD into national laws in Europe;
• Strengthening the Network, by increasing the number of national coalitions, their pro-activeness, as well as promoting links between members, especially in countries not represented;
• Getting involved in European-wide projects;
• Strengthening internal and external communication, and effectively sharing information as well as building the capacity of all members and stakeholders working in tobacco control in Europe;
• Building the capacity and capability of the Association, by building the Secretariat team, increasing the number of members and reach out to new sectors.
As a bridge and information platform between EU institutions and national members, ENSP uses a mix of tools to disseminate and keep the network up-to-date with the most recent development in tobacco control issues. These are manifested in communication resources, presentations, information dissemination, meetings, events as well as write-ups.
Activity in 2017 has followed the foundation work from the past couple of years, when ENSP worked with members to prepare for the TPD transposition and supported them with the implementation of the FCTC at national level, but with major improvements in a number of the communication means. The only organisation working on all articles of FCTC, ENSP brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including Governmental representatives, advocates, experts, researchers, scientist, healthcare professionals, journalists etc.
ENSP has organised five major events, sustained its updated website, produced a monthly newsletter and increased regular publication, strengthened the position of the ENSP official scientific journal: Tobacco Prevention and Cessation and had high Social Media activity. It also conducted two expert support visit in France and Georgia, as well as leading on national advocacy campaigns.
Through the new ENSP communication strategy, ENSP has in 2017 focused on high visibility and has produced a series of resources to enable increased recognition and awareness of the organisation from members but also wider stakeholders. In 2017, ENSP has fundamentally strengthened its role as a capacity builder, and confirmed its position in the research arena.
One of ENSP’s main activities is to support national and international partners by contributing to events, conferences, workshops and meetings to present on specific topics related to tobacco control or to inform stakeholders on ENSP, its work and its projects.
WORK PACKAGE 1: POLICY
FCTC Article 5 (General obligations), in particular Article 5.3
Organised a World No Tobacco Day Press conference – (FCTC implementation in Europe).
Attended the Annual European regional meeting on implementation of the WHO FCTC (30/11/17 & 1/12/17)
Presented at the Second hearings in the Health Committee of the Parliament of Georgia (18/04/17)
Presented at the European Regional Tobacco Control Leadership Program (Kiev, Ukraine) – 3-9 September 2017
FCTC Article 6 (Price and tax measures to reduce demand for tobacco)
Participated and facilitated members’ response to the Public consultation on excise duties applied to manufactured tobacco
FCTC Article 8 (Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke)?
Organised a Study visit on Smokefree Legislation implementation and enforcement in Ireland for Romanian and Moldovan High Officials (05-09/05/17)
FCTC Article 11 (Packaging and labeling of tobacco products)
Launched resources to advocate for plain packaging
FCTC Article 12 (Education, communication, training and public awareness)
Conducted communication activities (ongoing)
Organised the ENSP International Conference on Tobacco Control in Athens, Greece (24-26/09/17)
Organised the ENSP Capacity Building event in Tallinn, Estonia (14-15/11/17)
Proposed symposia and participated to ECTOH 2017 in Porto, Portugal (23.25/03/17)
FCTC Article 14 (Demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation)
Coordinated EPACTT 2 project
Consortium member for the Tob-G project
Acted as the European hub for Global Bridges grantee network
Co-organised an event for World No Tobacco Day 2017 in Partnership with Women Against Lung Cancer in Europe (WALCE)
FCTC Article 15 (Illicit trade in tobacco products) and TPD Article 15 Traceability and Article 16 Security feature
Organised a High-level roundtable at the EU Parliament on tracking and tracing systems (02/03/17)
Participated to EU Commission workshops on traceability and security features for tobacco products (15/05/17)
Produced an ENSP factsheet on “Tracking and tracing to fight illicit trade in tobacco products"
Participated to the consultation/review of the draft secondary legislation relating to the establishment and operation of the systems of traceability and security features for tobacco products.
FCTC Article 20 (Research, surveillance and exchange of information)
Coordinated the EUREST PLUS and partner in other EU projects
Produced ENSP monthly newsletters
Successfully run the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation scientific journal
Participated to the Expert meeting on tobacco surveillance, with reference to Article 20 of the Convention (11-13/12/17)
FCTC Article 22 (Cooperation in the scientific, technical and legal fields and provision of related expertise)
Organised Expert visits to France and Georgia
WORK PACKAGE 2: Increase capacity for alliances and collaboration for smoking prevention and tobacco control in Europe
Contributed to the success of Romania, France and Georgia
Supported Network members and partners on a daily basis and when and as needed.
WORK PACKAGE 3: JOINT PROJECTS
Led work packages within EU Joint projects: SILNE-R, TackSHS, TOB-g
Coordinated EPACTT PLUS
Coordinated EPACTT FRANCE
Coordinated EUREST PLUS
WORK PACKAGE 4: INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Journal (TPC)
Conference on traceability at the EU Parliament
ERS-ENSP World No Tobacco Day
WALCE World No Tobacco Day
Capacity Building in Tallinn (Estonia)
Round table on track and trace systems at the EU Parliament
Support Visit in France and Georgia
WORK PACKAGE 5: NETWORK OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Recruitment of new members
• A extensive network that has proven its essential role in bridging EU Institutions and national tobacco control policy makers and civil society:
- 55 Full member organisations compared to 37 in 2016;
- 7 Associated member organisations compared to 9 in 2016 (two of which became full members);
- 19 Individual members compared to 12 in 2016.
• A wide network across the whole of the WHO European region, bridging North and South, West and East:
- 36 countries represented compared to 30 in 2016;
- 23 Member states compared to 22 in 2016;
- 12 non-EU countries compared to 8 in 2016
- 1 International member from the United States (also a strategic partner)
- 7 strategic partners compared to 5 in 2016
• The implementation of a comprehensive communication strategy, with a sustained and highly recognised activities, recognised by end-users (members, stakeholders and general public) as extremely useful:
- A relevant user-friendly website directly linked to other toold like the newsletter and social media;
- 5 major events organised in 2017 attracting over 470 delegates compared to 3 events with a total number of 383 delegates in 2016;
- Presentations in front of over 1.600 colleagues throughout the year;
- 500 copies of the 20th Anniversary monograph distributed and many more downloaded online;
- 2188 fans on the Facebook page compared to 2009 fans 2016;
- 13 newsletters sent out in 2017 to 1559 recipients compared to 953 in 2016;
• A scientific journal with increased popularity and reputation amongst academics and researchers:
- 83 submissions compared to 56 in 2016;
- 39 articles published compared to 37 in 2016;
- 109 abstracts featured compared to 45 in 2016;
- 17133 article downloads compared to 6085 in 2016.
• An increased capacity within the Secretariat with an additional member of staff, allowing better communication exchange with members and stakeholders, more involvement at national level, greater level of support, more meetings and events attended. This highly contributed to the overall reputation and service quality of the organisation provided to its members, stakeholder and the wider community.
• Better and higher collaboration with partner NGOs, in a number of diverse joint initiatives with ERS, CTFK, SFP, EFA, ECPC, WALCE, Unfairtobacco and Global Bridges through advocacy campaigns, events, meetings, support visits etc.
• There has been a wide recognition from peers that ENSP provides a complementary service to SFP, as the two organisation have very distinct roles. ENSP’s strength lies in its ability to disseminate information widely and quickly, while providing tailored and innovative support to its members to progress tobacco control agendas at national level. It differentiates itself from SFP in the fact that it is a key player for tobacco dependence treatments (FCTC article 14) and conduct research (FCTC article 20).
• Overall higher engagement with members at national level, with increased number of call for support, level of information sharing, attendance at meeting and events, and positive feedback and recognition from peers as to the useful and complementary role of ENSP compared to other organisations like SFP as a facilitator and capacity builder.
• The development and coordination of a strong network of EU national coalitions on tobacco control, with representatives in 36 European countries, 23 of which are EU Member States;
• A growing number of full member never seen before with 9 new organisations joining ENSP in 2017
• Progress made at EU level towards the transposition of the Tobacco Products Directive and a mobilisation around FCTC Article 5.3;
• Effective dissemination of success stories and all relevant tobacco-related updates internationally through conferences and capacity building events, ENSP website, newsletters, online scientific journal and social media, also including e-mail alerts and calls to action;
• Strong cooperation with other academic and research partners within EU joint projects, including EUREST PLUS, TOB-g, EQUIPT, EPACTT/EPACTT PLUS, Tack-SHS and SILNE-R projects;
• Support to the transposition of the EU Tobacco Products Directive in cooperation with all the other Brussels based EU networks working on the issue, such as the European Respiratory Society (ERS), Smokefree Partnership (SFP), European Public Health Alliances (EPHA), European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Associations (EFA), European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) and Fonds des Affections Respiratoires (FARES);
• Mobilization and coordination of EU national coalitions and other EU partners to promote effective FCTC implementation, aiming at the overall progress across Europe;
• Promotion and organization of 2 ENSP network meetings, one in Athens and one in October in Tallinn, in order to generate synergy and coordinated actions; and ENSP events are recognised as great opportunities for members and stakeholders – especially those with limited funds – to receive high quality information (usually at very costs via other channels and conferences).
The 2017 ENSP work programme has met all its objectives as ascertained by the acknowledgement of the fact that the vast majority of the proposed indicators (54 out of 64) have been realized at 100% of the values proposed within the project contract.
The 2017 ENSP work programme has been well aligned, in terms of the actions proposed – as determined by the indicators, with the main provisions of the Articles 3 and 4 of the ENSP statutes. This ensures that the programme has not only met its forecasted objectives, but by achieving them it has simultaneously achieved the main objectives proposed within the Statutes of the ENSP.
From the member organisations’ perspective, ENSP has pursued their mission and vision and the activities and actions taken by the network have been in line with the objectives set.
The main achievements recognized by the ENSP members revolve around the key activities defined by ENSP in order to move towards achieving the key objectives for 2020 and 2040.
Expending the network is recognized as a strengths by both new and old members and contributes to “the creation and development of national and international alliances for smoking prevention and tobacco control in Europe,[…]” .
Nevertheless it is important and it is recommended for the ENSP network to develop a framework and strategy for inclusion of new members, by taking into account the available resources, capabilities and logistics of the network and considering the necessary resources to be able to ensure a sustainable growth.
Being part of the ENSP network is seen not only as a common endeavour towards the same goals, but also an opportunity to learn new things, to have access to multiple resources (not necessarily financial ones), and to network and exchange information and knowledge.
Further effort should be done especially in providing support to member organizations to implement TPD at member states level and to strengthen the capacity of the organizations / coalitions in each country.
The events and conferences organized during 2017 have consolidated to a considerable extent the role and involvement of ENSP network at European level and reinforced the network as one of the reference networks when it comes to tobacco prevention and control.
The capacity building events, conferences and meetings have an important contribution in developing the capacity of the network’s member, nevertheless it is recommended to ensure information exchange and foster learning and networking also between the major events. Suggestions from members referred to more regional meetings, smaller meeting on specific topics, and international exchange programs between members.
The newsletter has had a major contribution to improving the communication and dissemination process of ENSP. To ensure a continuous share of information about activities performed by network’s members it is recommended to include in the newsletter (or periodical e-mails) “country profile” or “organization / coalition profile” section.
The representatives of the member organizations and coalitions feel that the participation in and initiation of joint projects at national and international level contributes to the status of the network and to consolidate and increasing its credibility, visibility and its weight in the advocacy and lobbying activities for tobacco prevention and control.
Strengthening the ENSP networks’ position at EU institutions level and becoming a major player when it comes to having an impact on tobacco control policy and strategy represents a major focus of the network.
Results suggest however that ENSP should make more benchmarking and be more actively involved, at European Commission level, in tobacco control lobbying and advocacy activities for setting the agenda of Tobacco Control in Europe.
From members’ perspective, financial / funding limitations represent the main obstacles for being able to implement more projects and expandi