Tobacco Info

From Tobacco Info No. 6 - July 2011
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The 7th National Conference on Tobacco or Health set for Toronto

Where do you go for the latest updates on tobacco control, to network and to rub shoulders with the tobacco control community in Canada?

The Canadian Council for Tobacco Control (CCTC) will host the 7th National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTH) from November 1-3 at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre.

The NCTH is the largest meeting of professionals working in tobacco control in Canada. Held every two years, this conference fulfills the CCTC’s mandate as it creates and maintains knowledge networks that connect people with experts and the information they need. These connections and newly-acquired knowledge informs effective action to improve the health of Canadians and the global community.

The conference is well-timed,” said CCTC Executive Director Bob Walsh. “In Canada, our federal government’s strategy is up for renewal after 10 years of implementation, but perhaps more importantly, the multi-sectored National Strategy has almost completely disappeared. The conference is an ideal forum for the field to determine tobacco control priorities and frame our national call to action.” 

The theme is Making the Connection: Knowledge Transforming Health. The conference will focus on linking policy, programs and research, bring together tobacco control experts from across Canada to network, to exchange information, resources and ideas, to explore new and innovative work and to share proven, effective work. It also aims to build on the lessons learned from tobacco control  and facilitate the transfer of knowledge on population health, chronic disease prevention and substance abuse prevention.

Organizers have set a number of objectives for the conference. The first is to facilitate knowledge exchange among researchers, practitioners and policy specialists with an interest in tobacco control and other risk factors for chronic disease through a content-rich conference agenda designed to meet a variety of learning styles.

The CCTC also hopes to provide the health community opportunities for networking and collaboration to further provincial and federal tobacco control goals and translate tobacco control interventions for chronic disease prevention.

 From 1993 to the present, attendance has ranged from about 350 people up to 747 (in 2005), and close to 500 are expected this year.

The 2009 Montreal conference

The previous national conference was held in Montreal in 2009 with the theme of Navigating the Shifting Landscape.

The two-and-a-half day event attracted over 500 delegates from across Canada.  It featured three plenary and four symposia sessions, over 60 oral presentations and an EXPO area featuring exhibits, posters and a marketplace.

It was a particularly memorable experience for the 58 youth, young adults, chaperones and facilitators who attended the youth stream.

There were inherent challenges of organizing such a large scale event with over 245 presentations, coordinated in multiple venues, with simultaneous interpretation in French of some of the major presentations, along with providing lunch for the attendees. In addition, the CCTC encountered two more organizational hurdles: budget restraints and the rollout of H1N1 flu vaccination clinics, which prevented some interested parties from attending the conference. However, attendees left Montreal equipped with the latest knowledge in tobacco control and renewed enthusiasm for their work.

Anyone interested in registering for this year’s conference can take advantage of early bird rates.  For more information, visit the conferences website at www.ncth.ca or send an email to conference@cctc.ca.

By Joe Strizzi, with files from Pierre Croteau