From discussing digital marketing to preventing tobacco industry interference, colleagues from the European region came together in October to share ideas and perspectives in a workshop on law and tobacco control.
Hosted by the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, the Norwegian Cancer Society, the World Health Organization, and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Secretariat, the workshop welcomed around 30 participants from a mix of government and civil society in Europe. The workshop built on a series of successful law and tobacco control workshops held annually by the Norwegian Cancer Society and WHO in the years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosted at the offices of the Union for International Cancer Control in Geneva, it also built on the opportunities provided by the World Cancer Congress immediately prior. It provided an opportunity for civil society and government working in tobacco control in the region to reconnect, share experiences, and learn from both global and regional perspectives on current tobacco control topics.
The workshop focused on several current topics in law and tobacco control, including law and tobacco endgame strategies, digital marketing, preventing tobacco industry interference, and the revision of the EU Tobacco Products Directive. Sessions consisted of a mix of panel presentations, country case studies from both within and outside the European region, discussion, and practical exercises.
The group was especially pleased to be joined by The Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall, Associate Minister for Health in the New Zealand Government, who presented an overview and question and answer session on New Zealand’s Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan. Presenters and facilitators included Norwegian Cancer Society, WHO, and McCabe Centre staff, as well as guest presenters from participating governments, civil society within and outside the region, academic experts, the European Commission, and the WHO country office in Ukraine.
Marianne Hammer, Head of Legal for the Norwegian Cancer Society, said the workshop was an opportunity to share experiences.
“For lawyers working with tobacco control I believe legal workshops cross-border and cross-sector are essential to succeed,” Marianne said.
“We learn fast and in depth about difficult legal topics when we join forces and share knowledge and experience. Lawyers working with tobacco control also often feel lonely nationally.
“When we meet however, we realise that we have colleagues from all over the world and it is so much easier to contact each other when we have met face to face.”
The workshop marked the first face-to-face training or workshop held by the McCabe Centre since November 2019. The McCabe Centre previously collaborated with Norwegian Cancer Society and WHO on a series of workshops on plain packaging in 2015 and 2016, supporting countries in Europe and globally to follow Australia’s lead in implementing tobacco plain packaging.
Learn more about the McCabe Centre’s tobacco control work here. If you would like to discuss the possibility of supporting the McCabe Centre’s work, please email email@example.com