‘Less cancer’ is one of our goals. Empowering people to make the right choices is what we stand for. Since we know that 35 to 50 percent of cancer mortality could be attributed to an unhealthy lifestyle DCS invests in informing the public about a healthy lifestyle. We offer information and several tools to support the public in realizing a healthy lifestyle.
Prevention is not only the responsibility of the individual, but we see an important role for the government and the parliament as well. Advocacy at national, EU and international level becomes increasingly important since regulation and legislation are playing a profound role in shaping public health policy.
Adoption of the EU system for tracking and tracing, the civil society remains cautious
Brussels, 1st December 2017 – Member States approved the European Commission’s proposals for implementing acts on articles 15(11) and 16(2) of the Tobacco Products Directive, establishing technical standards for the EU tracking and tracing system and for security features applied to tobacco products.
The Smoke Free Partnership has advocated for a secure traceability system that does not allocate responsibilities to the tobacco industry, in accordance with the requirements of the Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. The Protocol was ratified by the EU and 9 Member States. The implementing acts include some important provisions but question marks remain regarding the independence of the system from the tobacco industry, one of the key provisions of the Protocol.
Florence Berteletti, SFP Director, stated: “These are crucial elements in securing the supply chain for legal tobacco products, which, according to all available information, make up the largest part of the illicit tobacco market. We look forward to working together with national authorities and civil society organisations to further ensure that the system delivers on its role to prevent the diversion of legal products into the illegal supply chain. This is a first step forward; while the EU system is being implemented, we must remember that illicit trade is a global problem and that the Illicit Trade Protocol was created as a global solution to help put an end to decades of documented complicity of tobacco manufacturers in the smuggling of their own products. When the Protocol enters into force, we hope the EU will work with other Parties to establish effective global tracking and tracing rules and will reinforce its own rules especially concerning the present weaknesses of the system.
The two implementing acts, along with a delegated regulation setting criteria for contracts with data storage providers for the tracking and tracing system to be adopted by the Commission, will be published in the Official Journal in the coming weeks. The system will be operational after their publication in the Official Journal in the coming week and will be fully implemented from 20 May 2019.
Every year 20.000 persons die due to smoking in the Netherlands. At the moment 25% of the Dutch population smokes. Tobacco control is one of the key issues of the DCS. We strive for a substantial increase of non-smokers and more smoke free public places. We want to achieve this result by a combination of awareness campaigns and advocacy.
Since some years the DCS invests more in advocacy in the area of tobacco control. The Dutch government has ratified the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) but it appears to be necessary to follow up on implementing the measures. Since the last change in government (2012) tobacco control is back on the national prevention agenda. Due to lobby of the Netherlands Smokefree Alliance reimbursement of smoking cessation programs (drugs and counseling) and a total smokefree hospitality branch are re-introduced in recent years.
Next to advocacy at national level the DCS is involved in advocacy at European level as well, in particular when it comes to the Revision of the Tobacco Products Directive. At the EU-level we collaborate with the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) and the Smokefree Partnership.