I. 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH)

The 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health was held from 17 to 21 March 2015 in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Conference was a call for a collective resolution to fight tobacco by working together and integrating tobacco control into two broad agendas for achievement of our common health and development goals.

A very large number of delegates from around the world had attended this conference. Dr. P. C. Gupta, Director, Healis- Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health participated in this conference and he was advisor on the Scientific Programme Committee of the 16th WCTOH and provided his continuous support and guidance throughout the conference.

The team of Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) a campaign for policy change from of Healis- Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health conducted a session on Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) during the conference on March 19, 2015.

From Healis Dr. P.C. Gupta, talked on VoTV campaign, its strategies and how it is effective to bring decision makers, policy enforcers & media on board for advancing tobacco control; Mr. Sanjay Seth, Consultant, spoke on integrating implementation of the Indian tobacco control legislation within existing enforcement systems and Ms. Ashima Sarin, Project Director, co-ordinated this session.

Other network members of VoTV, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi of Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) highlighted on activities of VoTV through snapshots; Dr. Vishal Rao stressed on VoTV: Innovative ways & future directions and Mr. Matthew Myers from USA talked on VoTV: An International Perspective. Ms. Sandra Mullin from USA was Chair for the session.

Along with Dr. P.C. Gupta, other Healis members; Dr. Mira Aghi, Behavioral Scientist and Ms. Neha Mathur, Research Manager also participated in this conference.

Poster on topic of "smokeless Tobacco use among Indian Youth" by Ms. Neha Mathur presented at the conference during abstract poster session.

II. 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH)

The 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health was an event that has brought pride to the country and Healis. It was after 12 years that a developing country hosted this international event on tobacco control. Dr. Gupta, the Director of Healis was appointed as the President for the 14th WCTOH. It was held at National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai from 8th to 12th March 2009. The Conference was hosted by three organizations: Healis- Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, Salaam Bombay and ACT-India in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family welfare, Government of India and the Ministry of Public Health, Government of Maharashtra.

It was preceded by pre and followed by post conference events separate from the conference. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers, advocates, policy makers, media, public health specialists and others from across the globe had converged in Mumbai. 14WCTOH in Mumbai had bought together the global tobacco control community for the first time in a developing country since the adoption of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). World Conference on Tobacco OR Health happened after 12 years in a developing country.

Hosting the Conference in Mumbai had allowed an opportunity to bring in a large number of delegates from India at comparatively low cost. A very large number of delegates from around the world had attended this conference. Through the 14WCTOH special efforts were made to attract and support delegates from South Asia and developing countries given the relative neglect and special nature of tobacco problem in these countries.

The Technical supporters from India were HRIDAY-SHAN, PHFI, Tata Memorial Centre, and WHO- India and there were a large number of international technical supporters too. The financial supporters were Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India, Public Health Department, Government of Maharashtra, BGI, BMGF, UICC, IUHPE and several others.

The preparation of the Conference started from three years ago just after the successful biding in 13th WCTOH during early July, 2006.

III. 2nd National Conference on Tobacco or Health

Healis was co-hosted national level conference on tobacco or health from September 23-25, 2010. The Conference generated a rich repository of information through the presentations of delegates. Disseminating this information to facilitate advancing tobacco control in India is the immediate challenge. It was intend to achieve this by hosting the 2nd National Conference on Tobacco or Health at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai from September 23-25, 2010. All staff from the Healis participated in the conference.

IV. 3rd National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH)

On 15th and 16th of December, 2014 Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai welcomed guests and delegates from all over the country and abroad to the 3rd National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH). The conference was co-hosted by Salaam Bombay Foundation, Action Council against Tobacco, and Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health. This 3rd NCTOH reinforced the strides made in tobacco control and helped members connect together to exchange ideas and progress against tobacco. The President of the Conference, Dr. Prakash C. Gupta, Director of Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, introduced the theme of the conference which was to Engage, Empower and Eradicate and reinstated the purpose of the conference: to bring all think tanks, individuals and organizations, to one place to get updated about research and practices around the country and collectively influence policy makers on the menace of tobacco. As a co-host, members of Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health participated as delegates, with several presenting their work in tobacco control and many others assisting with being session note-takers or facilitators and assisted with display of selected posters. The conference program included thematic sessions, workshops, and an open forum discussion. The inauragal ceremony saw the release of the monograph "Smokeless tobacco and public health: A Global perspective", a joint venture of CDC, NIH and US Department of Health with editing and contribution of chapters by Healis. The conference ended with a declaration to acknowledge the immense burden caused by the use of tobacco, the commitment of individuals to help out lives affected by tobacco and to challenge the tobacco industry.

V. AFTC Networking Meet

The members of the Advocacy Forum for Tobacco Control (AFTC) met in Mumbai in June 2010, to discuss the most burning issues regarding tobacco control in India. The five core issues discussed were smoke-free public places, advertising of tobacco products with a special focus on surrogate advertising, tobacco industry tactics, pictorial warnings on tobacco products and tobacco taxation. The networking meet spanning two and a half days was attended by over 70 individuals representing 51 member organizations of the AFTC. Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health was the principal organizer and host for the event. Healis was assisted by HRIDAY (New Delhi) in the development of the scientific sessions.

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