Author: Alexa Arejian, ASH Project Assistant
August 2022 – This year, the National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH) was hosted in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. NCTOH is one of the largest U.S. conferences for tobacco control professionals and focuses on best practice policies to reduce tobacco use in the United States. ASH was honored to be a part of the knowledge-sharing and ready to expand our key partnerships.
With breakout sessions on community outreach and banning menthol, to health communication and tobacco cessation treatments, this was a crucial conference to attend. The sessions helped us begin brainstorming new approaches and strategies to utilize in our work.
ASH Policy Director Chris Bostic presented on “Health Equity, Human Rights and Tobacco Endgame,” at a sub-plenary that ASH organized and moderated entitled “Tobacco Endgame is Here.” ASH Manager of Engagement and Special Programs Nichelle Gray presented on “Exposing Tobacco Industry Lobbying in State Legislatures,” sharing data from ASH’s Lobbyist and Lobbying Firm Registration Tracker. And ASH Chief Operating Officer had a poster presentation on using human rights treaty bodies to strengthen local tobacco laws.
ASH also had a booth to engage directly with attendees and share information about our groundbreaking approach to ending the tobacco epidemic. We received a considerable amount of foot traffic during the conference with approximately 300 individuals from state and local advocacy agencies stopping to learn more about human rights mechanisms for tobacco control advocacy, including the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination (CERD), California’s tobacco endgame initiative, and other relevant global mechanisms available for use in U.S. local advocacy.
One of the most important aspects of this conference is the space it provides for various organizations and thousands of individuals to network and share their work through booths, poster presentations, breakout sessions, and plenary sessions. ASH was pleased to be present in each of these spaces, raising the visibility of our organization and unique approaches. We left feeling inspired and excited about the road ahead to end the tobacco epidemic, as a community.