The ‘World Conference on Tobacco or Health’ in Abu Dhabi

The King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF), and the Cancer Control Office at King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) have participated in the 16th ‘World Conference on Tobacco or Health’ (WCTOH). Held between 17 -21 March, 2015, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the Conference highlighted the latest global measures taken to control and reduce the  tobacco consumption.  
The Cancer Control Office at KHCC took part in a number of workshops and symposia and panel discussions entitled: Building Support for and Compliance with Smoke-Free Worksite Policies in the Middle East; The Experience of Jordan in a Changing Surrounding Political Environment; Prevention and control of the use of waterpipe: the future of regulation; The Waterpipe Epidemic in the Middle East; and The Road to a Comprehensive Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program: Needs, Challenges and Outcomes.   
The Cancer Control Office at KHCC also participated in Poster Discussion Sessions, presenting five posters entitled: The Effect of Tobacco Dependence Treatment Training on Competence and Confidence: Experience of King Hussein Cancer Center and Global Bridges; Media Coverage of Tobacco Control in Jordan: An Analysis of Newspaper Reporting; Initial Development of a Multilingual Distance Learning Curriculum in Tobacco Dependence Treatment– Lessons Learned; and  Motivating Employers to Make their Worksites Smoke-free. In addition, preliminary results of an ongoing study regarding the effect of waterpipe on respiratory symptoms in young long-term users were shared, and showed an increased susceptibility in waterpipe users to respiratory symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, wheezing and shortness of breath when exerting physical effort. The percentage reporting respiratory symptoms stood at 77% in waterpipe smokers compared to 28% in non-smokers, despite their young age (18 to 26 year-olds).           
Participants from the Kingdom also included representatives from the Tobacco Free Jordan Association and the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, both of whom were awarded grants to attend the youth pre-conference workshop at the WCTOH, which plays a significant role in helping combat tobacco in Jordan.  
The WCTOH drew the participation of over 3,000 tobacco epidemic experts who showcased and discussed the latest global advancements in combating tobacco, thus enhancing regional and international partnerships through specialized programs, activities and seminars.
The Conference concluded with a set of recommendations, most noteworthy of which were the need to implement measures included within the framework designed by the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding combating tobacco. These comprise putting an end to the illicit trade of tobacco products, imposing increased taxes on tobacco to lower consumption, and enforcing public places and work sites to be fully smoke free.      
The 17th WCTOH is scheduled to take place in South Africa in 2018.