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Global Health Histories Seminar #147 - A puff of smoke: What next for tobacco control?

Monday 27 April 2020, 12.00PM

Speaker(s): Virginia Berridge (Professor of History and Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Anca Toma Friedlaender (Director of the Smoke-Free Partnership) and Kristina Mauer-Stender (Programme Manager of Tobacco Control at WHO/Europe).

2020 marks 15 years since the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) came into force. The tobacco industry’s strategies to circumvent the WHO FCTC continue to evolve. The growth and use of new and emerging products, such as electronic nicotine delivery systems and heated tobacco products, are alarming and need to be addressed.

Can a better understanding of the cultural and social contexts help us to address old and new challenges for controlling tobacco? What actions should be taken to empower governments and their citizens to address these challenges and continue striving for better health and greater equity?

Covering a wide historical landscape ranging from the first smokers at the Portuguese court in Lisbon in the 16th century all the way to the momentous upswing in tobacco use after the collapse of communism, panel members will discuss the cultural and socioeconomic factors that influenced how European governments began to establish systematic tobacco control legislation. They will explore how past experience can help us to better understand the future of tobacco control.

The webinar will also launch a background document on the historical and cultural contexts of tobacco control in the WHO European Region as part of the series Cultural Contexts at a Glance.

The webinar will be live-streamed here. Online audiences can interact and ask questions by going to and entering the event code #whoch.

Location: Webinar to be streamed here: