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#TTIPLeaks and Bridging the gap between trade and public health

EPHA believes that greater transparency is vital to ensure proper democratic and public debate about the impact of trade policy on population health, following Greenpeace Netherlands’ release of classified TTIP negotiating documents By Zoltán Massay-Kosubek, @EU_ZMK, Policy Coordinator for Healthy Trade and Health Equity, EPHA EPHA believes that greater transparency is vital to ensure proper democratic and public debate about the impact of trade policy on population health, (...)

Excess: let’s not blame Christmas, but act on food and drink environments

Christmas and New Year: two great occasions to contemplate about excess. But not the type of excess that may once in a while accompany some memorable event. Rather, what deserves revision is the structural excess that our food and drink environments promote. Fortunately, this year ends with signs of hope. Limiting the alcohol industry The Irish “Public Health Alcohol Bill”, introduced on 9 December, is a groundbreaking piece of legislation which reads much like a Christmas (...)

WHO European Health Report 2015:Towards a new public health metric

In their latest annual report on the state of Europe’s health, the WHO singles out alcohol, tobacco and obesity as Europe’s main public health concerns and calls for "well-being" to be a public health indicator. There is some good news in WHO’s European Health Report 2015: Europe appears to be on track in reducing premature mortality from the four main chronic diseases (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, respiratory diseases). [1] Total alcohol consumption (...)

European Commission revised Investor Arbitration proposal still shows bias and lack of transparency

Brussels, 12 November 2015. Public health groups, including EPHA, EHN and EASL [1] consider that the proposed changes to investor arbitration in TTIP are insufficient to stop companies attacking governments on public health laws, such as those for plain tobacco packaging or transparency of clinical trials. The European Commission (DG TRADE) has today published its revised proposal for an Investment Court System (ICS ) [2] which aims to replace the highly controversial investor-to-state (...)

Open letter congratulating Hungarian Minister of Health on plain packaging

EPHA has sent an open letter to Hungarian Minister of Health Gábor Zombor, congratulating him on the initiative to implement a plain packaging policy for tobacco products in Hungary. ... To the attention of: Dr Gábor Zombor, Minister of State for Health, Hungary ... Dear Minister, I am strongly encouraged by the news on your outstanding initiative to implement a plain packaging policy for tobacco products in Hungary and would like to extend my congratulations to you on this initiative. (...)

Tobacco control: Governments should not rest on their laurels

Taxes are effective tools to curb the global tobacco epidemic. This is the core message of the World Health Organization (WHO) 2015 report on tobacco launched this month. Tobacco-related diseases claim more lives than HIV-AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. In its recent report, the WHO welcomes commitments and efforts made in the field of tobacco control around the world. More than half of the world’s countries, covering 40% of the world’s population, have established at (...)

[EPHA Open letter] EPHA contribution to the draft Austrian tobacco legislation

I am writing to you in response to the draft tobacco legislation that is currently in progress. On behalf of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Austria for its willingness to take this bold step forward in the fight against tobacco related harm. To Mme Sabine Oberhauser, Austrian Minister for Health Dear Mme Oberhauser, In Austria the prevalence of smoking is still increasing while the habit is imposing an enormous health and (...)

UK and Ireland pave the way for the adoption of Plain Packaging in the EU

Ireland and the UK are paving the way for a Europe free of tobacco. This form of leadership is crucial in the light of the recently adopted Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which aims to strengthen European tobacco control policy. The UK’s House of Lords has approved a bill to standardise cigarette packaging in England from May 2016, making it the second country in the European Union to introduce such a law after Ireland and the fourth in the world (after Australia and Uruguay). In (...)

Hypocritical spending: European Parliament again votes to continue subsidies for tobacco growing

On 22 October the European Parliament voted to once again prolong subsidies "to cover expenditures granted to farmers producing raw tobacco" in the proposed EU budget for 2015. Despite the phasing out of support for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) direct payments to tobacco growers since 2010, a strong stance against the reintroduction of this funding from the European Commission and the Council in the revised CAP 2014-2020, and no mention of tobacco subsidies in the budget, the Parliament (...)

[ECC Press statement] World COPD Day 2014: Why a disease that affects one in ten adults in Europe is still neglected?

Brussels, 19 November 2014 - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (1) affects up to 10% of European adults and is the fourth cause of death worldwide and is expected to be in third place by 2030 (2). As yet, few EU leaders or policy-makers are aware of this fact. Until this changes, little political action will be given to tackle one of the most acute public health issues in Europe. “As a first step to effectively address this public health threat, we should get much better (...)

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