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NEWS europe

  • Newly released report shows smoking rates continue to fall in Uruguay -- a result of sustained commitment to public health policy

    Uruguay reduced smoking rates from 25 percent in 2009 to 21.6 percent in 2017, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS).


  • Georgia implements comprehensive reforms to protect people from the harms of tobacco use

    Strong new legislation to reduce tobacco use and protect people from the harms of smoking comes into force in Georgia today, 1 May 2018 -- including bans on smoking in indoor public places, tobacco advertising and promotion, and misleading terminology on tobacco packaging such as ‘light’ and ‘mild’. This is the first round of a comprehensive set of laws that will be rolled out during 2018 in an effort to curb the country’s high smoking rates.


  • The Union responds to tobacco giant claims to want a smoke-free England

    The Union has issued the following statement in response to reports in the UK media that one of the largest tobacco companies in the world, Philip Morris International, claims to want a smoke-free England by 2040:


  • Georgia’s tobacco tax reform built through multi-stakeholder collaboration

    Georgia’s Ministries of Health, Finance and Agriculture have worked together to reform tobacco tax, and have committed to reaching European Union required levels within ten years.


  • One of the world’s largest insurers ditches tobacco investments – worth €1.8bn

    Axa, one of the world’s largest insurance companies, announced today that it is selling all 1.8 billion euros (£1.3bn/USD2.0bn) of its tobacco industry shares, saying it made no sense to invest in a sector that killed more than six million people each year.


  • UK high court rules in favour of plain tobacco packaging – a win for global public health

    The tobacco industry has suffered another crushing defeat after losing a UK high court battle on the standardised packaging rules due to come into force today (20 May 2016). Plain packs will be the same shape, size and drab brown colour, displaying graphic health warnings across 65 percent of the front and back surfaces and with written warnings down each side. Branding is banned.


  • New Union study launches index to measure the sustainability of tobacco control programmes

    New research identifies 31 factors that national tobacco control programmes need in order to be sustainable. Published now in the BMJ's Tobacco Control, authors at The Union draw on ten years’ experience assisting governments around the world to build programmes to reduce tobacco use. The study develops an Index of Tobacco Control Sustainability to be used by countries to establish their current level of sustainability and to identify priority areas for development.


  • World Cancer Day, 4 February 2016: highlighting the danger of waterpipes

    Long popular in Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East, shisha or water pipes are increasingly popular in other regions – despite the risk for cancer that they pose to both smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke.


  • Seven Hills Challenge! Centennial Campaign Fundraiser

    The Department of Tobacco Control's annual fundraiser will take place on 11 September 2015. Members of the team and friends will cover an ambitious 24k route in and around the Department's Edinburgh base. It takes in the city's seven hills, which range in height from 103 to 251 metres above sea level.


  • Suspension of lawsuit against plain packaging is a huge win for tobacco control

    Ukraine's lawsuit against Australia, claiming that its plain tobacco packaging law constitutes an illegal barrier to trade, has been dropped much to the relief of tobacco control and public health supporters around the world.


  • Russia – smokeless tobacco ban

    Sales of all forms of smokeless tobacco, including snus, chewing tobacco and snuff, have been banned in Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan. The new law will be enforced by the police, Drug Control Service and Consumer Rights Protection body, under the guidance of the Department for Health and Sport. Violators will be fined between 3,000 and 30, 000 roubles.

    Policy-makers in Tatarstan are now assisting the federal government with developing a similar, national law. 


  • The Union participates in COP6 meeting in Moscow

    The Union's Department of Tobacco Control, represented by all regional and country leads, is attending the 6th Session of Conference of Parties (COP6) to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Their role at the meeting in Moscow is to support the governments of all parties to the FCTC to develop and strengthen tobacco control measures through the development of guidelines and protocols for important issues including taxation of tobacco products, illicit trade, alternate livelihoods for tobacco growers and electronic cigarettes. The discussions and negotiations will continue until, Saturday 18 October 2014.


  • Centennial Campaign fundraiser in Scotland!

    Join The Union in Scotland this autumn for a Centennial Campaign biking and hiking adventure in some of northern Britain's most beautiful countryside.


  • Registration opens for 45th Union World Conference in Barcelona

    Registration is now open for 45th World Conference on Lung Health, the world's largest gathering of clinicians and public health workers, health programme managers, researchers and advocates working to end suffering caused by lung disease. With a record number of abstract submissions—including more focused on tobacco control than ever before—this year's conference will feature the very best in science and advocacy on tuberculosis, TB-HIV, tobacco and other lung health issues as they impact people living in low- and middle-income countries. If you're involved in any area of lung health, this is THE conference you don't want to miss!


  • Proposed Ireland Cigarette Bill Would Empower Consumers, Protect People's Health

    The government of Ireland took an important step toward protecting public health in the country, with yesterday's publishing of the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Bill 2014. If passed into law, the bill will require tobacco cigarettes to be sold in generic packaging free of designs, logos, trademarks, colors and graphics, eliminating a key marketing tool that the tobacco industry uses to attract people to smoking. The bill aims to reduce tobacco consumption and, ultimately, deaths caused by tobacco.


  • Ministerial delegations from Russia and China visit Scotland to observe implementation of progressive tobacco control policies

    A delegation of ministerial public health officials from Russia and China will observe Scotland’s progressive tobacco control laws in action during a three-day visit to the capital, beginning 3 March.

    Members of Scottish Government and academics at the University of Edinburgh will share their knowledge of tobacco control policy development and implementation, and healthcare providers, retailers and non-governmental organisations will demonstrate how laws are working on the ground. The delegates’ governments are both currently developing tobacco control legislation to promote public health.


  • Smokefree Olympics create impetus for quitting tobacco

    The Olympics in Sochi launched with the support of 500 volunteers specifically trained to help implement the Games' strong smokefree policy.


  • Sochi continues the smokefree Olympic tradition

    The Union is supporting volunteers working for the smokefree Olympics in Sochi with an online training course about tobacco-free sporting environments, including communications skills on how to interact with violators of the ban.


  • Enforcement matters: implementation of Russia’s tobacco control laws could save 3.7 million lives

    A new study published in Tobacco Control shows that introducing a full range of demand-reduction tobacco control policies in Russia would save up to 3.7 million lives by 2055.


  • Turning skeptics into smokefree champions in Russia

    With its new strong tobacco control law going into effect as of 1 June, Russia is poised to become a leader in the global fight against smoking – but how can the law be enforced? How, in a country where one-third of the people smoke and some 80% are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke? These are the challenging questions that face the National Ministry of Health team and others across the country charged with enforcement. A recent Union workshop gave them both the tools – and confidence – that they will need to succeed.


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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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