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Tobacco Expert Group

Keeping up the fight on tobacco for healthier hearts around the world

Home > Global Advocacy > Tobacco Expert Group

Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure are major causes of cardiovascular disease, contributing to approximately 10% of all cardiovascular deaths globally, about 1.7 million deaths per year. Globally, CVD-attributable deaths are the most common cause of deaths due to smoking. Unless urgent action is taken, tobacco will kill 8 million people a year worldwide by 2030, with 80% of these deaths expected to occur in developing countries.

In the past years, WHF has been a global advocate in the fight against tobacco: through joining relevant organisations such as NCDA and FCA, through the support of tobacco control (TC) initiatives of active members and by developing the tobacco roadmap. WHF now engages even more directly with all its members and partners through its own structure and programmes via the Tobacco Expert Group (TEG), created in 2018.

Composition of the TEG

The Group is Chaired by Eduardo Bianco (Uruguay, PAHO region) and benefits from a broad geographical distribution:

  • Koji Hasegawa, Japan (WPRO region)
  • Regina Dalmau (Spain, EURO region)
  • Fastone Goma (Zambia, AFRO region)
  • Michal Stoklosa (USA, PAHO region)
  • Andriy Skipalskiy (Ukraine, EURO region)

Main Objectives and Activities

The TEG serves to guide WHF policy and activities around tobacco control at the global level, such as the framework for the 2019 EIU report on fiscal policies for health. Its work is informed by three main objectives:

Raising awareness on the link between tobacco use and CVD

The TEG engages with all relevant stakeholders, such as WHF members, NGOs, policy and decision makers, to raise awareness on the link between tobacco use and CVD.

Leveraging healthcare professional communities to make an advocacy impact

Political pressure from the professional health community can be a powerful force for good. However, clinicians are often not trained in advocacy or how to influence politicians. WHF can support healthcare professionals by providing capacity building programmes in advocacy, facilitate their work by providing model letters, provide the right argumentations for governments to endorse policies, and make a platform for knowledge exchange on topics ranging from tobacco industry interference to tobacco cessation techniques.

Strengthening the voice of WHF by using all relevant platforms

Tobacco control is a highly relevant subject for public health in general and for the CVD community specifically. In order for tobacco control to remain a top priority and to align all stakeholders on this topic, it must stay on the agenda of every relevant platform for knowledge sharing. These can be CVD and/or public health conventions, conferences, roundtables, workshops, or other high-level fora.