ENSP urges the newly elected members of the European Parliament to adopt a Resolution on Tobacco Dependence Treatment

Throughout years of work ENSP focused its effort on ensuring that the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was signed, ratified and implemented by all European countries. In particular ENSP concentrated on FCTC Article 14 to promote measures on tobacco dependence and cessation. Furthermore, since 2018 ENSP organises tobacco treatment specialists’ trainings and specific country Support Visits providing expertise on tobacco dependence treatment and advice on creation and improvement of national cessation programmes. ENSP is striving to ensure the topic is not lost among many tobacco control priorities both on national and European level.


European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention submits the following resolution to the European Parliament:


Resolution about Article 14 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) which requires effective measures to promote cessation of tobacco use and adequate treatment for tobacco dependence.


The European Parliament,

  • having regard to the Commission’s Green Paper Towards a Europe free from tobacco smoke: policy options at EU level’ (COM (2007) 27),
  • having regard to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and in particular, Article 14(demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation),
  • having regard to the 2004 WHO European strategy for smoking cessation policy,
  • having regard to the 2007 WHO policy recommendations on protection from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke,
  • having regard to the European Commission’s regulation of tobacco products on the EU market (e.g. packaging, labelling, and ingredients), (Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU)),
  • having regard to the European Commission’s advertising restrictions for tobacco products, Tobacco Advertising Directive (2003/33/EC),
  • having regard to the European Commission’s Directive 2010/12/EU on tax measures on tobacco,
  • having regard to the international Protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products adopted under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (2012),

A. whereas tobacco smoke is a complex toxic mixture of more than 4 000 substances, including poisons such as hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and carbon monoxide, as well as 50 substances proven to be carcinogenic,

B. whereas tobacco use is the leading cause of premature death and disability and the largest threat to public health for the European population,

C. whereas each year, 700,000 Europeans die from tobacco-related illness while approximately 50% of tobacco users die prematurely,resulting in the loss of an average of 14 years of life,

D. whereas the European region has one of the highest proportions of death attributable to tobacco, (16% of all deaths among adults over 30 years old),

E. whereas more than 125 million Europeans (26%) continue to smoke. This is the highest rate of tobacco use among all the WHO regions while Southern Europeans smoke more on the contrary with the Northern Europeans where people have stopped smoking in a greater percentage,

F. whereas it is known that tobacco consumption costs European economies hundreds of billions annually,

G. whereas exposure to smoking during pregnancy can result in a higher risk of deformities, miscarriages, still and premature births, stunted growth of the foetus, smaller head circumference and a lower birth weight and there is a link between passive smoking and middle ear infections, impaired lung function, asthma and sudden infant death syndrome,

H. whereas the European Union and all 28 Member States have already signed and ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and Article 14 which highlights the demand for reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation,

I. whereas the majority of smokers in Europe have tried to quit (52%), but the vast majority of them (75%) tried to quit without assistance and only 5% used medical support or other services to help stop smoking,

J. whereas cessation interventions have a more mid-term impact on the number of deaths and therefore must be encouraged. World Bank report explains that, if smoking initiation is reduced by 50% by 2020, the number of deaths from tobacco will decrease from 520 to around 500 million in 2050. On the other hand,

K. whereas if half of the current smokers quit by 2020, the number of deaths from smoking would be reduced from 520 to 340 million in 2050,

L. whereas tobacco users who seek help from a healthcare professional are up to four times more likely to successfully quit than those who try unassisted,

M. whereas Article 14 of FCTC calls the Parties tofacilitate accessibility and affordability for treatment of tobacco dependence’ as tobacco dependence treatment is very beneficial, and cessation interventions are ‘extremely cost-effective when compared with other healthcare system interventions,

N. whereas the combination of behavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy is the key component of successful tobacco treatment,

O. whereas brief smoking cessation advice provided by a health care professional significantly increases patient motivation to quit and smoking abstinence rates,

P. whereas a combination of behavioral support and pharmacotherapy can increase abstinence rates fourfold,

Q. whereas quitting smoking the excess risk of smoking-related coronary heart disease is reduced by approximately 50% within 1 year, and to normal levels within 5 years,


  1. Welcomes the Commission’s Directives as a policy to protect citizens from harmful tobacco smoke;
  2. Welcomes the action taken by the Member States that have already ratified WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC);
  3. Welcomes the action taken by the Member States to adopt effective measures to ensure protection from passive smoking;
  4. Calls on the constant efforts of all European Member States towards providing children and young people the freedom to grow up independently and in good health, without being coaxed into a lifetime of addiction;
  5. Calls on the establishment of a wider coherence among smoking prevention activities, as well as promoting comprehensive tobacco control policies at a European and at the individual national level;
  6. Calls on the continuation of WHO FCTC implementation and in particular Article 14 as a public health priority;
  7. Calls on the establishment of effective services to support cessation of tobacco use available through health;
  8. Notes that Member States are free to determine the form of the measures to be taken at national level, but that they should report to the Commission, on the progress made in implementing tobacco treatment delivery measures;
  9. Calls on the Commission to produce a report on the available smoking cessation facilities in Europe and best practices based on the needs of the European population in total and regionally;
  10. Notes that the Commission has a supporting role to play in the achievement of the European objectives by helping the Member States to exchange knowledge and best practices and to carry out European research on combating smoking;
  11. Calls on the Member States, within two years, to introduce smoking cessation treatment into healthcare systems of their respective countries and facilities accessible from all smokers;
  12. Calls on the development of a Directive for treating tobacco dependence and adaption of the Directive from each Member State;
  13. Calls the Member States who want to help their citizens to quit smoking to support them by providing both behavioural counselling and pharmacotherapy;
  14. Considers that such smoking cessation support measures should ensure that smokers and in particular the young and those economically less well off, have access to affordable smoking cessation products and treatments, so as to ensurethat there are no inequalities whereby less-advantaged members of society are discouraged from using them;
  15. Considers that information smoking cessation, including free call quit lines, text message services or awebsite address, should be visibly available in all outlets where tobacco products are sold;
  16. Calls for the necessity of all healthcare professionals to be trained on how to deliver tobacco treatment;
  17. Encourages the Commission to continue to implement support measures, awareness-raising measures; considers that education and further developingthe skills of doctors and other healthcare professionals should be an important field, to which priority is assigned;
  18. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission;
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