Annual regional meeting focuses on tobacco taxation and policy coherence


Representatives of over 40 countries gathered in Heidelberg, Germany, for the annual European regional meeting on the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) on 30 November–1 December 2017. The meeting focused on two key topics in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): tobacco taxation and policy coherence in tobacco control.

With the SDGs, the global development agenda specifically includes tobacco control for the first time. This provides a new entry point to sectors outside of health for tackling the tobacco epidemic together.

Tobacco taxes save lives and increase government revenue. Bold increases in tobacco taxes are the most powerful tool to achieve faster progress in reducing smoking rates. However, according to the 2017 WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, measures to increase tobacco taxes and make tobacco products less affordable have slowed down in the WHO European Region in the last years.

Along with important advances in tobacco control, countries in the Region face new and growing challenges. It remains critical for country representatives to gather regularly to share their knowledge and experience in addressing the tobacco epidemic.

The regional meeting was made possible by support from the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the United Kingdom as part of the FCTC 2030 project of the Convention Secretariat.