ECL is a pan-European umbrella organisation of national and regional cancer leagues.  Since 1980, we have been providing a unique and important platform for cancer societies. From Iceland to Turkey, ECL is represented by leagues in the extended Europe.  Together, we are "making a Difference in Cancer Prevention and Control!"

ECL has the permanent responsibility of organising the European Conferences on Tobacco or Health (ECToH), which take place every two to three years and hosted by an ECL member in Europe


7th ECToH (Conference on Tobacco or Health) in Oporto, Portugal, 23-25 March 2017


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Press Release

United Kingdom, Ireland and Iceland top new European ranking on tobacco control, while Austria, Germany and Luxembourg are at bottom

Porto - Portugal, March 23 2017: The new Tobacco Control Scale launched today at the 7th European Conference on Tobacco or Health (ECToH) shows United Kingdom as a fourth time winner while three countries, Austria, Germany and Luxembourg continue to disappoint with extremely poor scores.
A new ranking report describes the results of a survey of tobacco control activity in 35 European countries in 2016. The tobacco control scale quantifies the implementation of tobacco control policies at country level, and is based on six policies described by the World Bank, which they say should be prioritised in a comprehensive tobacco control programme.
The new ranking was presented at the 7th European Conference on Tobacco or Health ( in Porto by Luk Joossens of the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL). Countries spend less than 2 Euros per capita on tobacco control.
"This is wonderful news that Portugal has become green in the new ranking, but it is a cautious green and we shall continue our efforts to not fall back into red. I strongly believe that by collaborating with the Health Ministry, we will be able to climb higher in the ranks!" says Vitor Veloso, MD, President of the Portuguese League hosting this 7th ECToH, and Vice-President of ECL.
Dr Sakari Karjalainen, President of ECL, welcomes the ranking update as "an important policy tool in encouraging countries to strengthen their weak spots in tobacco control."
The Russian Federation was included in our survey for the first time and was doing well in advertising restrictions and smoke free policies, but the score attributed to prices was low. Romania made spectacular progress jumping to 7th place from 19th in 2013.
"Overall, countries which failed to undertake new initiatives lost points and fell in the ranking. The countries that are leading tobacco control in Europe are those that have comprehensive tobacco control policies," states Luk Joossens, the main author of the report.
Six countries (UK, France, Ireland, Hungary, Norway and Slovenia) adopted plain packaging legislation, although only the UK and France had plain packs at the point of sales on 1 January 2017.
Since 2013, nine countries have introduced a smoking ban in private cars when minors are present. (Ireland, UK, France, Finland, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia).
The full report can be downloaded here  and at

 TCS Postcard 2016 Front  Back Page 1



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ECToH Young Professional Award



About the previous ECToHs:

6th ECToH: the 6th European Conference on Tobacco or Health took  place in 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey.

It was hosted by the Turkish Association for Cancer Research and Control, in collaboration with the National Coalition Against Smoking of Turkey.

The 6th ECToH was a great success and drew 500 participants from all over Europe and beyond.  See the excellent programme here.

A highlight of the Conference is the Tobacco Control Scale 2013 ranking how countries are doing in the progress against tobacco, by Luk Joossens and Martin Raw, which can be downloaded here.

T TCS ranking 2013 Postcard v5 


Please note that we will not make the presentations available, but invite you to contact the speakers directly for information.




5th ECToH: The 5th ECToH took place 28-30 March 2011 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The Dutch Cancer Society organised the conference in collaboration with STIVORO, the Dutch expertise centre for tobacco control.  A highlight was a presentation by Luk Joossens, ECL Advocacy Officer, on an update of the Ranking List for European Tobacco Control 2007-2010. (See previous ranking report presented at ECToH 2007.)


4th ECToH: The 4th ECToH took place in 2007 and was hosted by the Swiss Cancer League in Basel, Switzerland, alongside the ECL annual meetings.


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