Requirement analysis for more advocacies: Tobacco Control in Germany

Despite the decade-long efforts of the German Center for Cancer Research , Germany occupies the last place in Europe, next to Austria, in the implementation of WHO recommended tobacco control measures (TCS data)[1]. There are more than 7.5 million people in Germany who are chronically ill due to their tobacco consumption, and about 350 of these die each day [2]. The data published by NEJM in 2015 from the US suggests that the mortality attributable to tobacco can be even higher at about 9 million chronically ill patients in Germany [4]. The group leaders of 18 faculties of medicine of the Education against Tobacco network have unanimously decided in the federal meeting on 10. 24/25.15 in the Thorax clinic Heidelberg to strongly influence political decisions and the public opinion to support the DFKZ through solidarity. Among other things, the example of international groups of doctors from the United Kingdom, who openly draw attention to the misconduct of politicians with respect to tobacco control in scientific journals (such as the British Medical Journal), and thus are able to trigger multiple legislative processes, can be connected in a professional manner [4]. Secondly, the public opinion will be influenced , in terms of de-normalization of smoking, in order to further increase the pressure on political decision makers to take up tobacco control measures and to reduce the acceptance of smoking. For the second aspect, internationally evaluated and efficient campaigns are available, for the implementation of which it is essential to convince the Federal Ministry of Health of their usefulness and effectiveness, which has not succeeded so far [5].

On the whole, it stands out that medical students and doctors are ideal opinion givers in the society for this subject, but do not have sufficient training in the Advocacy area to report and enforce their views professionally

With this background, every year in the German Cancer Research Center a free training session for the whole Education Against Tobacco network sponsored by DKFZ is organized to train the highly-motivated network and in particular the group leaders for this activity. The education takes place within the framework of the tobacco control conference of DKFZ, which functions at the same time as an additional training session for the AGT members.

The sponsor of this year’s conference was the German Heart Foundation e.V; the report on this year’s training and the pictures can be found here.

  1. Joossens, L. and M. Raw. The tobacco control scale in 2013 in Europe. In the Sixth European Conference on Tobacco or Health – ECToH, Istanbul, Turkey .2014.
  2. Mons, U., [Tobacco -attributable mortality fashionable in Germany and in the German Federal States – calculations with data from a micro census and mortality statistics]. Healthcare, 2011. 73 (4): p. 238-46.
  3. Carter, B. D., et al., Smoking and mortality – beyond established causes. New England Journal of Medicine, 2015. 372 (7): p. 631-640.
  4. Kmietowicz, Z., Doctors demand apology for UK diplomat ‘s involvement in Pakistan tobacco meeting. BMJ, 2015. 350: p. h1814.
  5. McAfee, T., et al., Effect of the first federally funded US national antismoking media campaign. The Lancet, 2013. 382 (9909): p. 2003-2011.