Participation of CCT staff at World Conference on Tobacco or Health 2018

The World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) is a high profile international scientific conference, held every four years, presenting the latest developments in tobacco control and global efforts to reduce tobacco use in all its forms. The 17th WCTOH was held from 7 to 9 March 2018 at Cape Town, South Africa under the theme: Uniting the World for a Tobacco Free Generation, which was attended by nearly 2,500 delegates. Delegates ranged from researchers, academics, non-governmental organisations, civil society, scientists, health care professionals to public officials working on all aspects of tobacco control from over 100 countries.

Centre for Combating Tobacco (CCT) was able to secure three full and one partial scholarships to attend the conference in Cape Town. Director, Dr. Mahesh Rajasuirya presented his views titled Think Globally, Monitor Locally: The Sri Lanka Experience at the symposium titled Towards a Global Index to Measure Tobacco Industry Interference. Editor Dr. Manuja Perera presented an e-poster titled ‘Tobacco industry securing connections with political elites: a case study from Sri Lanka” and Mr. Ishara Fernando and Mr. Sameera Lakmal presented e-posters titled “Tobacco industry targeting Sri Lankan non-tobacco-growing farmers in corporate social investments” and ‘Tobacco industry engaging agriculture ministers in Sri Lanka” respectively. CCT, together with its partner organisation, ADIC, constituted 12 of about 17 strong Sri Lankan contingent.

The conference has been a very successful experience for CCT, earning recognition for Faculty of Medicine and University of Colombo, and for Sri Lanka, in addition to knowledge gain, networking and maximising funding opportunities. Dr. Mahesh Rajasuriya and Dr. Manuja Perera participated at a meeting organised by the WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub on FCTC Article 5.3 at the conference venue for WHO FCTC Observatories (monitoring tobacco industry activities). They also held discussions with The Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) on future plans of CCT and with representatives from Bangladesh on regional cooperation in monitoring tobacco industry.

The 17th WCTOH Declarations announced at conference close can be accessed at http://www.wctoh.org/news/17th-wctoh-declarations-announced-at-conference-close/.