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Vital Stories

Johns Hopkins University hosts global tobacco control leadership program

The Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) recently held the 11th Annual Global Tobacco Control Leadership Program from 16-29 July 2016.

The Program sessions emphasize leadership principles in relation to tobacco control, structured around the World Health Organization’s MPOWER package of measures to reduce the demand for tobacco and are delivered by a faculty comprised of international experts in tobacco control leadership, policy development, communications, research, advocacy and surveillance.

As part of the Bloomberg Initiative (BI) to Reduce Tobacco Use, this 10 day program aims to develop and enhance leadership in countries experiencing the greatest burden of disease from tobacco use by building capacity to develop, implement and enforce effective tobacco control policy interventions. The program takes place each summer in Baltimore, USA.

Acceptance into the Leadership Program is by nomination from one of the Bloomberg tobacco control partner organizations.

This year there were over 100 participants from 26 countries. The leadership program begun with a welcome by Dr. Joanna Cohen, Director, Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC), JHSPH and Michael Klag, Dean, JHSPH followed by a keynote address by Kelly Henning, Director of Public Health Programs, Bloomberg Philanthropies, on the Bloomberg Initiative.

The program comprised of a blend of leadership classes and the aspect of Tobacco Control in various countries, including perspectives from Nicola Roxon, the Former Minister of Health of Australia and Marco Antonio Nunez Lozano, Member of Parliament from Chile.

Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) presented “Global Success in Tobacco Control and Tobacco Industry Responses”, Ehsan Latif, Director of Tobacco Control at The Union, presented on the “Effectiveness of MPOWER Intervention” and Claudio Tanco, from CTFK presented on “Policy Advocacy: Using Earned Media as part of your Policy Advocacy Campaign.”

Stephen Hamill, Director, Advocacy and Communication at Vital Strategies presented on how to use social media for mobilizing people to advocate for tobacco control.

Dr. Ben Lozare, Associate Director, Centre for Communication Programs, JHSPH presented “Leadership sessions for Strategies Change” exploring how good leadership and strategic communication skills can be applied to ensure tobacco control efforts are effective, timely and resource efficient.

We also participated in a cultural dinner cruise, in which every participant represented their country with the help of their attire and a regional dance/song.

The program concluded with the presentation of our country leadership action plans, which we worked on over the 10-day period.

By the end of the course, participants understood the need for leadership and having a “shared vision” with other tobacco control partners and governments, to ensure they put up the most effective fight against big tobacco in their countries.