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Dublin wins bid to host major tobacco conference

Conference attracts 2,500 delegates every three years

Dublin has been announced as the winner of a bid to host a major international conference to tackle tobacco, to be held in 2021.  The announcement came at the end of the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, held in South Africa. 

The World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) is the premier conference on tobacco related issues and attracts an international audience of approximately 2,500 delegates.  It is held every three years in the month of March.  The conference has not been held in a European city since 2003.  

Minister Simon Harris and Minister Catherine Byrne have expressed their delight that Ireland has been successful in the bid to host the 18th WCTOH conference in Dublin.  

Minister Harris said “Ireland is recognised as a world leader in introducing new tobacco control measures.   I am sure that this is just one of the key factors which resulted in Ireland winning this bid. Ireland was the first country in the world to introduce a national comprehensive workplace smoking ban in 2004, the first EU country to bring in the ban on point-of-sale display ban in 2009 and is the second country in the world to introduce standardised packaging for all tobacco products in 2017. The Department of Health’s central role in this success was recognised internationally when it was awarded the WHO 2017 World No Tobacco Day Award for its achievements in tobacco control.”

Minister Byrne said “I am delighted with the news today that Dublin will host this major event.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the partners in the bidding process for all their efforts in helping us to secure this important conference”. 

These partners include Fáilte Ireland, Dublin Convention Bureau, the Dublin Convention Centre, the Health Service Executive, Irish Cancer Society, ASH Ireland, Irish Heart, Tobaccofree Research Institute, Royal College of Physician of Ireland and Institute of Public Health.  

The IUATLD (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease) is the Conference Secretariat and oversees the bidding and selection process as well as having a significant input into the organising and running of the conference.

In September 2017 Ireland submitted a bid to IUATLD for Dublin to be considered as the conference venue for the 18th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in 2021.  After Ireland was shortlisted the IUATLD visited Dublin to discuss the bid and to inspect facilities. An oral presentation was then made by Ireland at the Conference in South Africa on Tuesday 6th March.  The IUATLD announced today at the end of the 17th Conference that Ireland would host the 18th conference in 2021.

Healthy Ireland is our national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland. Its main focus is on prevention and keeping people healthier for longer. Healthy Ireland’s goals are to:

•        Increase the proportion of people who are healthy at all stages of life
•        Reduce health inequalities
•        Protect the public from threats to health and wellbeing
•        Create an environment where every individual and sector of society can play their part in achieving a healthy Ireland

Healthy Ireland takes a whole-of-Government and whole-of-society approach to improving health and wellbeing and the quality of people’s lives.


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The Minister for Health, Simon Harris


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