First Eastern Mediterranean Summit on TDT to be held in November

While many countries are making strides in tobacco cessation, rates of tobacco use continue to increase in the Eastern Mediterranean and African regions, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO estimates tobacco use in males is as high as 70 percent in many of these countries, and can reach as high as 34 percent in adolescents.

In response to the increased need for effective tobacco dependence treatment, the King Hussein Cancer Center’s Cancer Control Office is holding the First Eastern Mediterranean Summit on Tobacco Dependence Treatment in Jordan on November 5-6, 2017. The summit will bring tobacco dependence treatment (TDT) activists and practitioners together with global experts to advance the quality and availability of TDT in the region.

According to a 2014 study, Global Bridges and the King Hussein Cancer Center have trained more than 1,500 TDT professionals and advocates in the East Mediterranean Region (EMR) since 2011. By systematically including cessation advice in primary healthcare services, establishing accessible telephone “quitlines” and making low-cost pharmacotherapy available to interested smokers, healthcare providers in the region will be able to continue to combat the tobacco epidemic in the EMR.

Richard Hurt, M.D., the founder of the Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center (NDC), and current director J. Taylor Hays, M.D. will present alongside other international leaders at this summit. The NDC studies tobacco cessation approaches and the cost effectiveness of these therapies. TDT is more cost effective and saves more than twice as many lives as treatments for other chronic diseases.

Additionally, TDT services are not yet fully integrated into healthcare systems in the EMR, nor do any countries have national policies that promote tobacco cessation. The complexities of the political and cultural factors that influence tobacco use in these countries affect the ways in which treatment occurs. It is for this reason that global experts in the field of tobacco dependence are coming together to address the pieces of this intricate landscape.

This summit will address:

  • Factors influencing the supply and demand for TDT services
  • The role of TDT in non-communicable disease management
  • Regional perspectives on behavioral interventions
  • Developments in pharmacotherapy
  • Gaps and opportunities for the region in TDT research

For more details about the summit you can refer to