The notion of a Tobacco-Free Generation was first mooted to the global community at the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health held in Singapore in 2012.

By the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health held in Abu Dhabi in 2015, the global community began to warm up further to the Tobacco-Free Generation notion, recognising that this may be the endgame strategy leading to a Tobacco-Free 21st century.

15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health 2012 (Singapore)

Tobacco-Free Generation obtained international recognition just 2 years after its publication. Under the astute leadership of Professor Ruth Malone, Editor-In-Chief, ‘’Tobacco Control’’ journal, she identified Tobacco-Free Generation as one strong contender of the endgame concept.[1] The endgame concept arose as tobacco control thought leaders started recognising that more of the same will not make much difference to the tobacco pandemic that will continue to kill 1 billion smokers in the 21st Century. Following this international recognition at the 2012 World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Singapore, the concept of Tobacco-Free Generation flourished globally.

The International Conference for Public Health Priorities: The End-Game for Tobacco 2013 (New Delhi, India)

One year later, at the Conference for Public Health Priorities: The Endgame for Tobacco Conference held at New Delhi, India, in September, 2013, the end-of-conference declaration item 9 was “Adoption of policies to prohibit the sale of tobacco to all persons born after 2000, to ensure tobacco free millennium generations (as proposed by Tasmania and Singapore)”.[2]

Goyang Declaration 2014 (Goyang, South Korea)

In 2014, at a conference attended by representatives from 11 National Cancer Centres from Asia, held in Goyang South Korea, the representative of each country, namely Singapore, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Turkey and Vietnam, pledged to support the initiatives pushing for Tobacco-Free Generation 2000, by encouraging their respective governments to forbid the sale of tobacco products to any person born in, or after the year 2000.[3]

16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health 2015 (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

On the 18th of March 2015, Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, approved of the Tobacco-Free Generation notion, in response to a question from the floor during the High Level Ministerial Plenary Session – Tobacco Control and Non-Communicable Diseases.

“The Tobacco Free Generation must be supported very strongly, VERY STRONGLY”.

[Director General WHO, Dr Margaret Chan], [16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health 2015], Opening Plenary Session.

Besides Dr Chan, Tobacco-Free Generation was also well cited by some key attendees at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health 2015. The Singapore Tobacco Free Generation team also conducted a workshop entitled ‘’Youthful Conversations from the Tobacco Free Generation 2000 Proposal”’ as well as a symposium entitled “New Conversations from the Tobacco Free Generation 2000 proposal.”

International Recognition

Besides these conferences, there have been a growing number of conferences where TFG has been repeatedly cited. In Tasmania, there is an increasing number of public organisations, councils and other bodies formally endorsing TFG. TFG has been endorsed by the British Medical Association in 2014 and also cited in the New York Times in 2013.

[1] Professor Ruth Malone [“Tobacco endgames: what they are and are not, issues for tobacco control strategic planning and possible US scenario”] “Tobacco Control”. Commentary. ‘’Tobacco Control’’ 2013;22:i42-i44

[2] “Conference Declaration. Official Website of the International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st Century: The End-Game for Tobacco 2013

[3] The Malaysian Times (as reproduced from ChannelNewsAsia) “10 more countries to support ‘Tobacco Free        Generation’ project” :The Malaysian Times”, 2014, Retrieved on 22nd March 2015.

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