The European Network of Quitlines (ENQ) has been able to tackle “serious health inequalities” caused by smoking, thanks to funding from a Pfizer Foundations Global Health Partnership Programme.
ENQ reports a huge discrepancy in life expectancy of up to ten years due to differing European levels of tobacco control, services and availability of clinically-proven products.
"It is essential that the disparity between European countries is urgently addressed in order to reduce the health inequalities gap and ultimately save thousands of lives,” said Kawaldip Sehmi, director of health inequalities for the UK charity QUIT and the ENQ's lead agency. “A worker in Paris should be able to transfer jobs to Sofia and expect the same smoke-free environment."
Ten countries are participating in The Social Exclusion Training and Capacity Building programme which has been recently launched in Poland. The 3-year project will mentor Quitlines in Eastern and Central Europe to develop effective strategies to reach and support socially excluded communities. These include those on the lowest incomes, different minority ethnic communities, lone parents, pregnant smokers and young people.
The countries participating are Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. (pi)