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World Conference on Tobacco or Health scientific programme announced

The scientific programme of the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa on 7-9 March, has been announced.

The programme will feature breaking research on e-cigarettes, the impact of tobacco point-of-sale display bans, the growing trend towards flavoured cigarettes and the financial impact of smoking on economies and individuals. Regional science presented at the conference includes smoking and HIV and TB in sub-Saharan Africa and ante-natal tobacco smoke exposure in South Africa.

The programme includes two workshops run by two teams from the 2016 Emerging Leaders cohort: KOMPLY and FACTC, which will take place on Tuesday 6th March at 9.30am. A CVD Special Session, hosted by the World Heart Federation, will be held on 9 March at 12.20pm.

While tobacco use is decreasing in many countries, evidence has shown that smoking rates in Africa are anticipated to rise dramatically. By 2030 the number of smokers in the region is projected to increase by 40 percent from 2010 levels, unless there is significant intervention. Africa continues to be aggressively targeted by the tobacco industry, as it represents an opportunity for considerable market growth.

“It is highly significant that the WCTOH is taking place on the African continent for the very first time – in many ways the region is a test case for the future direction of tobacco control and its ability in the coming years to rein in aggressive interference from Big Tobacco,” said José Luis Castro, Executive Director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), the WCTOH Secretariat.

The theme of the conference is Uniting the World for a Tobacco-Free Generation with an overarching focus on expediting progress to reduce tobacco use in all populations around the world – using new research and innovative approaches in public health, as well as powerful but under-used policies, including tobacco taxation and those aimed at preventing industry interference.

The scientific programme can be viewed online now.