Tobacco Control Conference
This final conference for the Internet-Based Tobacco Control Program, whose main aim was to launch the Czech Heart Association (CHA) also reviewed the challenges to tobacco control in the Czech Republic - and thus to the CHA. A total of 45 health and tobacco control professionals from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia participated in the two-day meeting.
The workshop was planned and conducted by facilitators from NIPH and IKEM with input from CECHE. Conference working groups developed plans for tobacco control strategies in the Czech Republic aimed at reducing the prevalence of smoking and preventing cardiovascular illnesses. The working groups also took into consideration necessary legislation, fundraising resources, media liaison and campaigns to improve public education of the problem. They prepared a press statement, which was released at the Ministry of Health immediately after the conference. In addition, they developed a priority agenda for CHA and attendant implementation strategies for the next year. These included conducting two workshops featuring: tobacco control legislation changes and regional symposium on disseminating tobacco control issues to the CEE countries.
Other goals included developing smoking cessation counseling software for cardiologists, creating a CHA website, producing 100,000 information leaflets, facilitating a roundtable comprising Czech pharmaceutical companies and fundraising.
Representatives from other CEE countries expressed a strong desire in extending various aspects of the tobacco control and communications program to their respective countries of Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. In addition, these CEE countries advocated establishing a network focused on basic health for the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union.
Evaluations of the conference using a quantitative survey indicated that it fully accomplished, indeed exceeded its objectives. Participants assessed the conference as extremely helpful in reaching their goals, especially increasing their knowledge for professional work. They found the conference sessions to be relevant, interesting and useful. Their positive attitude scores and high rating of the overall conference highlight its success.
Participants evaluated the workshop as extremely helpful in reaching their personal goals. They also would use the experience learnt "often." Overall, participants rated the conference topics "interesting, relevant and useful." Participants' overall attitude towards the program was a favorable 4.7 on 5-point scale and they gave high scores to the overall conference coordination, 4.9 out of 5.
High scores were seen in all the conference presentations and workshop activities. Specific findings are as follows (click the chart icon to see a chart):
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