eISSN: 2450-5722
ISSN: 2450-5927
Journal of Health Inequalities
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vol. 3
Special paper

ENSP (European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention). 20 years of Tobacco Control in Europe and its effort to reduce health inequalities

Antonella Cardone
Cornel Radu-Loghin

The European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention, Brussels, Belgium
J Health Inequal 2017; 3 (1): 98–101
Online publish date: 2017/06/30
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Smoking is the largest single contributor to socio- economic inequalities in morbidity and mortality. Within most European populations, smoking prevalence rates differ substantially according to people’s educational level, occupational class and socio-economic status. Significant inequalities in the characteristics of tobacco use are now emerging across all EU Member States, especially among youth. Furthermore, as smoking is responsible for half the difference in deaths across socioeconomic groups, tobacco control has a major role to play in reducing health and social inequalities. Socioeconomic determinants play an important role in tobacco use, but also in e-cigarette use, in support for tobacco control policies and to the exposure to Second Hand Smoke.
The European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention’s (ENSP), is an international organisation based in Brussels with over 70 members, including organisations, individuals and specialised networks active in tobacco control across Europe and beyond.
ENSP’s vision for the future is to eliminate the health inequalities attributable to tobacco among European citizens and reduce their suffering caused by early morbidity and early mortality due to tobacco-related diseases. ENSP believes that children and youth should be able to grow up without being targeted with messages that seek to lure them into a lifetime of addiction. Every person living in Europe should be able to breathe clean air unpolluted by tobacco smoke. This is why ENSP’s mission is to develop a strategy for coordinated action among organisations active in tobacco control in Europe by sharing information and experience and through coordinated activities and joint projects. ENSP aims to create greater coherence among smoking prevention activities and to promote comprehensive tobacco control policies at both national and European levels.
ENSP was formally established in 1997 in Brussels, but the idea to set up a network specifically focused on Tobacco Control started much earlier.
The Europe against Cancer Programme (EaC) was initiated by EU Heads of State and Government in 1985. A ‘Committee of Cancer Experts’ was convened, which proposed a preliminary Action Plan for the years 1987-1989. The success and learnings from this experience led to a second and more ambitious plan for 1990-1994, based on three clear and separate strands: cancer prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, and quality assurance of treatment...

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