2022 SPEAKERS Home // 2022 SPEAKERS

Adriana Blanco Marquizo is the Head of the Secretariat of the WHO Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control since March 2020. She is a medical doctor with a
master’s degree in Policies to Prevent Addictions in Children and Adolescents from
the Latin American Centre of Human Economy (CLAEH). Over the past two decades, Dr Blanco Marquizo has worked in the region of the
Americas, supporting tobacco control activities in many countries of the Region,
including her home country, Uruguay. Before joining the Convention Secretariat, Dr Blanco Marquizo worked at the Pan American Health Organization as Tobacco Control Regional Advisor and later as Chief of the Risk Factors and Nutrition Unit in the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.

Angela Ciobanu is a medical doctor and graduated with a Master’s degree in the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine and the Doctoral programs at the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemițanu”, Republic of Moldova. For more than 10 years she worked in the National Center of Public Health of the Republic of Moldova starting as a hygienist in food safety department and later as Secretary of the National Codex Alimentarius Committee. In beginning of 2007 she joints the UNICEF Moldova providing consultancy support in the area of communication for behavior change and later in nutrition. In early 2011 she started working for the WHO CO of the Republic of Moldova as national professional officer coordinating the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. In the second term of 2018 she moved to Copenhagen, Denmark in the position of technical officer in tobacco control of the WHO Regional Office for Europe where is currently working.

Ariadna Feliu holds a Degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Barcelona a Master in Public Health at the University Pompeu Fabra and the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a PhD from the University of Barcelona. She was a predoctoral researcher at Tobacco Control Unit of the Catalan Institute of Oncology and did her PhD at University of Barcelona on the evaluation of the impact of tobacco control policies in Europe on smoking indicators and socioeconomic factors. She is acpostdoctoral scientist at the Environmental and Lifestyle Epidemiology Branch at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO). Her main research area is policy evaluation for cancer prevention with a special focus on tobacco control.

Esteve Fernández is the Director of the Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at the Catalan Institute of Oncology, and Director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Tobacco Control. He is Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the School of Medicine of the University of Barcelona. His main areas of research include tobacco control and cancer prevention and control. He has also worked in socioeconomic and gender determinants of health, with focus on cancer and smoking, in methodological issues and the teaching of epidemiologic methods and scientific writing. He has been Principal or Associate Investigator in more than 40 research projects funded by National and International agencies, including SANCO, FP7 and H2020 European Union’s programs. He has published more than 400 articles in peer reviewed journals. Prof. Fernández has provided advice on tobacco control to WHO and regional and national governments in Europe. He is member of the Advisory Board of Public Health of the Government of Catalonia.

Raquel Fernández-Megina has a degree in Journalism and has been president of Nofumadores.org since 2005. She has been dedicated to empower citizens to protect their right to a smoke-free environment and also to pressure legislators to advance in the implementation of tobacco control measures focusing on preventing new generations from starting to smoke. Under her leadership, Nofumadores has become one of the main stakeholders of tobacco control in Spain and the organization receiver the WHO Word No Tobacco Day award in 2022. Today, Nofumadores.org, led by Raquel, continues to work and engage with Spanish legislators to advance the agenda of a smoke-free future and nicotine free future, using the ENDGAME 2030 declaration as its main roadmap. To this end, at an international level, Raquel has led the presentation in the European Commission of the Citizens’ Initiative “”Call to achieve a tobacco-free environment and the first European tobacco-free generation by 2030″” that will begin in January 2023 to collect the million signatures needed among European citizens.”

Allen Gallagher is a research fellow at the Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) at the University of Bath, UK. TCRG is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary and international group, which explores how corporations influence health and policy, and seeks to provide evidence for policy change. TCRG produces the TobaccoTactics website, a source of rigorous research detailing tobacco industry strategies and tactics to undermine public health. As a partner in STOP, a global tobacco industry watchdog funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, TCRG works with partners to expose tobacco industry activities to derail tobacco control and provides stakeholders with evidence to counter these. Allen has a BA and MSc. from the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), and a PhD from the University of Bath. While interested in various issues related to tobacco control and commercial determinants of health, Allen’s primary research focus to date has been to explore contemporary tobacco industry involvement in the illicit tobacco trade and related policy, with him having given evidence on this topic at the European Parliament and having contributed to the UK chapter of the World Bank’s global review of country experiences confronting illicit tobacco trade.

Hebe Gouda is a Project Officer in the Tobacco Free Initiative, Department of Health Promotion at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva where she has led the WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic since 2017. She has over two decades of experience in global public health policy and epidemiological research and capacity building in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Egypt. She has a Master’s in public health and PhD in epidemiology from the University of Cambridge and is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Queensland in Australia.  

Laurent Huber is the Executive Director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH); a U.S. based non-governmental organization fully devoted to supporting global health and international tobacco control efforts. For over a decade Laurent was the first Director the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), an international coalition of over 500 Non-Governmental Organizations from more than 100 countries that played a vital role in shaping the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and then helped integrate tobacco control in the UN and global development agendas. He now works to strengthen the link between the global tobacco control agenda and the work of the UN Human Rights and environmental bodies with the aim of advancing globally agreed health, human rights, environmental and development objectives. For his efforts Laurent received the American Lung Association-C. Everett Koop Foundation Award in 2005 and under his direction, the FCA received the prestigious Luther Terry Award in 2006, the Premio SEDET in 2008, the WHO World No Tobacco Day Award in 2011, and ASH was also awarded the Health Leadership Award by the U.S. Surgeon General in 2014.

Ruth Malone is Professor Emerita, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences,  University of California, San Francisco, USA. Since 2009, she has served as editor-in-chief of the leading international policy journal in the field, Tobacco Control.  Currently, she leads two endgame-related projects: the upEND Tobacco California project, funded by the California Tobacco Control Program, and a national project exploring state retailing of tobacco funded by the US National Cancer Institute, NIH.  For more than a decade she has been writing, researching and analysing the social, political and policy dynamics of tobacco control and how supply-side endgame policies can change the conditions that sustain the tobacco epidemic.

Cristina Martínez is a Senior Researcher expert in Tobacco Control. She is the Deputy Chief at the Tobacco Control Unit and Assistant Professor at the University of Barcelona. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Nursing Science and Social Anthropology and pursued postgraduate education in Health Policy at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) where she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor, at the Department of Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Martínez main areas of research include the evaluation of tobacco control policies in health care services, by assessing the impact of smoke-free policies and evaluating the effectiveness of smoking cessation and training programs. She is currently developing online tobacco cessation training programs for health professionals and conducting implementation projects to foster smoking cessation interventions in health care services. Moreover, she is conducting research to assess tobacco use among mentally ill and drug abuse smokers and design cutting-edge interventions to reduce the burden of tobacco-related diseases in this vulnerable population.

Chloé Momas is a Policy Officer at the Smoke Free Partnership. The SFP Coalition includes over 50 organisations from all over Europe that work on EU policy analysis and advocacy, mobilizing decision-makers to make tobacco control a political priority. Chloé is responsible for files dealing with sustainability, tobacco industry interference and smoke-free. Prior to joining the SFP team, she was working in advocacy on consumers, transparency and sustainability at The Good Lobby. Before that, she had developed strong knowledge of the EU policy landscape while working at the European Council and Strategic Planning unit of the Council of the European Union. Other professional experiences have led her to work in public relations, public affairs, and with national and local politicians in 5 countries. 

Lilia Olefir, the Director of the Smoke Free Partnership (SFP) and the EURO Regional Coordinator for the Global Alliance for Tobacco Control. The SFP Coalition includes over 50 organisations from all over Europe that work on EU policy analysis and advocacy, mobilizing decision makers to make tobacco control a political priority. Prior to joining SFP Lilia worked as Executive Director of Advocacy Centre “LIFE”, SFP Coalition partner. She helped to further build the leadership of “LIFE” in the European and global tobacco control arena. Lilia and Advocacy Center “LIFE” team conducted a successful advocacy tobacco tax campaign in 2017 by supporting the Government in the passage of the 7-year plan to increase specific excise on tobacco products by 20% annually and worked with policy champions on the comprehensive tobacco control bill that became that was adopted in 2021 closing loopholes in tobacco control legislation in Ukraine. SFP Main partners are the Belgian Foundation Against Cancer, Cancer Research UK, the Comité National contre le Tabagisme, the European Heart Network, the Health Funds for a Smokefree Netherlands, and the Norwegian Cancer Society. 

Hanna Ollila is a senior specialist working in the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in the field of prevention of tobacco-related harms. Her research focuses on the patterns and prevention of tobacco and nicotine use among youth, and she has participated in the development and evaluation of tobacco control initiatives in Finland. Ms. Ollila leads the work package “Best practices to develop an effective and comprehensive tobacco endgame strategy” in the European Joint Action on Tobacco Control 2. Additionally, she leads the WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub on Tobacco Surveillance hosted by THL, which promotes research, surveillance and information exchange in line with the Article 20 of the WHO FCTC.

Armando Peruga is physician and a doctor in Public Health. He graduated from the Master’s and Doctoral programs of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In his native Spain, he was the director of the Research Institute on Health and Welfare in Madrid and later became the Dean of the National School of Public Health. In the early 80’s he worked for the Washington DC Commission of Public Health as a behavioral change epidemiologist and began to work with the Pan American Health Organization in 1990. He was the leader of this organization’s tobacco control team until the beginning of 2006, when he moved to Geneva as the coordinator for the capacity building unit of the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) of the World Health Organization. He was the program manager for TFI until January of 2016, when he retired from WHO. He is now an associate researcher at the Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge (IDIBELL) in Barcelona and the Center for Epidemiology and Health Policy of the Universdad del Desarrollo in Chile.

Francisco Rodríguez is a physician and specialist in dentistry (Complutense University of Madrid, 1985). He has developed advocacy in tobacco control in different scientific organizations.   aimed to t He was the President of the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (2015-2022) and President of the “National Committee on Tobacco Prevention” Spain (2007-2011). He is adjunct professor in the Master de Tabaquismo of the University of Cantabria and of the University of Sevilla.  He was the national cooordinator of the campaigns for prevention and early detection of oral cancer of the Spanish Dental Association and the Spanish Ministry of Health from 2007 to 2010. He is a Member of the “Consejo Asesor del Consejo General de Médicos de España” (since 2015).

Joan B. Soriano is an epidemiologist at the Pneumology Service of the Hospital Universitario de la Princesa. He was Associate Professor of Medicine at the Autonomous University of Madrid (April 2015-January 2019), where he is currently an Honorary Professor. He has been a Methodological and Scientific Consultant to SEPAR and Director of its Foreign Affairs. He participates in various committees of the Spanish Ministries of Health and Science and collaborates extensively with ERS, CHEST and other international organizations in the pulmonology arena. Since 2007 he has been Associate Editor of the European Respiratory Journal and since 2012 of the Lancet Respiratory Medicine, among other journals. He has more than 400 PubMed publications in the fields of clinical epidemiology and treatment of respiratory diseases, and a SCOPUS Hirsh index of 82. In May 2011 he received the Josep Trueta Award for scientific and medical achievement; in 2014 he was named a Chest FCCP and a founding Fellow ERS (FERS) member; and in 2022 he received the NeumoMafdrid Award for his scientific and research career. Currently his research has suffered a “covidization” and from October 2020 to July 2021 he was Senior Consultant of the COVID-19 Clinical Management Team, WHO Health Emergency Programme, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.

Constantine Vardavas is a medical epidemiologist with a specific postgraduate training at an MPH, PhD and postdoc level on tobacco product regulation and science. He has been the PI or co-Investigator on a number of tobacco regulatory grants at the European Level, and is currently the Head of the Technical Group, responsible for the assessment of tobacco product flavours for the European Commission. He is an internationally recognized expert on the role of ingredients, electronic reporting of tobacco products, and their association with adverse health outcomes.

Akaki Zoidze has over 25 years of experience as an international expert in public health and health policy in a high-level policymaker’s capacity as the Deputy State (Prime) Minister of Georgia in 2001-2003. Later as the elected member of the parliament and the Chair of the Healthcare and Social Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia in 2016-2019, he was responsible for overseeing the health and social sector reforms in Georgia and adoption of a package of groundbreaking new generation tobacco control legislation. For the latter achievement, he received the WHO European Region’s World No Tobacco Day award in 2018. Zoidze has more than 20 years of experience in international policymaking as a consultant and advisor to the UN organizations, including WHO, World Bank, EU, USAID, GAVI, Global Fund, DFID, ADB and other multilateral and bilateral development partners. In these capacities he led or actively participated in public health and health policy development, high level policy dialogue, and number of major health reform efforts in up to 15 countries of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including Turkey.

Luk Joossens is a Tobacco Control Consultant for Smoke Free Partnership. He was the Advocacy Officer of the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL), a Tobacco Control Expert within the Belgian Foundation against Cancer and an International expert on illicit tobacco trade. Since 1994, Luk Joossens has published several scientific articles on cigarette smuggling and advised the World Bank, The European Commission, the World Health Organization, the US Surgeon General, the International Union against Cancer, the Association of European Cancer Leagues, the Framework Convention Alliance, the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use and many national organisations about smuggling.