Ireland wins bid to host major conference to tackle tobacco

By June Shannon Policy News   |   14th Mar 2018

The Irish Heart Foundation was delighted to play its part in a successful bid for Ireland to host an international anti-tobacco conference in Dublin in 2021.

News that Ireland was to host the 18th World Conference on Tobacco and Health (WCTOH) in 2021 was announced at the end of the 17th WCTOH which took place in South Africa earlier this month.

The WCTOH is the premier conference on tobacco related issues and attracts an international audience of approximately 2,500 delegates. The 2021 conference will be the first time that the event will be held in a European city since 2003.

“Ireland has committed to the bold target of a tobacco-free Ireland by 2025

Kathryn Reilly, Policy Manager with the Irish Heart Foundation

“Innovative policies will be required to achieve this goal. To date Ireland has been a pioneer in tobacco control and the workplace smoking ban in 2004 marked a seismic shift in public acceptance and tolerance of smoking”.

Today’s announcement is a recognition of Ireland’s successful, and ongoing, battle against smoking. We look forward to working further with the Department in preparing for the conference.”

Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne expressed their delight that Ireland had been successful in the bid to host the 18th WCTOH conference.

Minister Harris said “Ireland is recognised as a world leader in introducing new tobacco control measures. I am sure that this is just one of the key factors which resulted in Ireland winning this bid.

“Ireland was the first country in the world to introduce a national comprehensive workplace smoking ban in 2004, the first EU country to bring in the ban on point-of-sale display ban in 2009 and is the second country in the world to introduce standardised packaging for all tobacco products in 2017.

“The Department of Health’s central role in this success was recognised internationally when it was awarded the WHO 2017 World No Tobacco Day Award for its achievements in tobacco control.”

Minister Byrne said “I am delighted with the news today that Dublin will host this major event.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the partners in the bidding process for all their efforts in helping us to secure this important conference”.

These partners include The Irish Heart Foundation, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin Convention Bureau, the Dublin Convention Centre, the Health Service Executive, Irish Cancer Society, ASH Ireland, Tobaccofree Research Institute, The Royal College of Physician of Ireland and Institute of Public Health.

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