The Smokefree Partnership, together with its partners and the Association of European Cancer Leagues, organised a two-day workshop in Leuven, Belgium September 3 and 4, 2008. The workshop also received an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis and Pfizer.

The overall aim of the meeting was to present the new proposal of the European Commission on taxation of tobacco products and to provide participants with information on smuggling and illicit trade, and outline the need for a strong protocol on illicit trade of tobacco products.

The workshop brought together over 50 participants working on tobacco control, including key leading experts on taxation and smuggling, the European Commission, tobacco control advocates as well as Health and Finance Ministries. The workshop offered an opportunity to provide participants with much-needed training on taxation and smuggling issues, and provided information on upcoming opportunities for action.

The broad range of participants and different types of expertise led to a lively discussion and participants agreed it was a very useful event. The discussions at the workshop and various presentations pave the way for the development of an advocacy toolkit on taxation.

For further information about the Commission proposal and taxation of tobacco products please check the fourth issue of the Spotlight.

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The Smoke Free Partnership is...

a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the European Heart Network and Action on Smoking and Health (UK). We aim to promote tobacco control advocacy and policy research at EU and national levels in collaboration with other EU health organisations and EU tobacco control networks.