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Ruth Dreifuss: "What I expect from this year's UNGASS is, above all, honesty"

Interview with Ruth Dreifuss. After an interval of 18 years, a second United Nations Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem is to be held in New York in April 2016. Former government minister Ruth Dreifuss represented Switzerland at the 1998 Special Session as health minister. She will now be attending an UNGASS for the second time. We asked Ms Dreifuss what had changed since 1998. more


Bending a cigarette communicates successful smoking cessation

SmokeFree Campaign 2016. The spring phase of the current SmokeFree campaign focuses on success in quitting smoking: it encourages smokers to draw up a concrete plan of action for kicking the habit and it aims to activate families and friends increasingly into providing support for people who want to stop smoking. To this end, it draws smokers' attention to effective assistance services such as the SmokeFree Buddy app. The campaign is financed by the Tobacco Prevention Fund. more


Switzerland's health-related foreign policy: which objectives does it pursue and what has it already achieved?

Swiss Health Foreign Policy. The process of globalisation and the internationalisation of the public health sector generate a great demand for coordination between health, foreign and development policies. In order to ensure Switzerland’s capability to be a convincing partner with a coherent position and to represent its interests in the best way possible, the Swiss Health Foreign Policy (HFP) was approved in 2012 to serve as an instrument for this coordination. Thematic areas such as transport, environment, energy, security and global health are increasingly important topics in international relations. They play a substantial role in the sustainable development of societies, and can therefore no longer be addressed in isolation – nor be restricted to a state’s territory. Thanks to its HFP, Switzerland is well equipped to formulate and implement a coordinated and coherent health policy approach at both national and international levels. In addition, health is a useful tool for strengthening and further developing our international relations with key partners. more


At first hand

Editorial Tania Dussey-Cavassini. The health problems of a specific population are not confined to its residential area. Viruses, for instance, do not have passports, nor do national borders stop them from spreading. more


«People make behavioural choices, we cannot deny that. But the creation of the environment is part of the State’s responsibility.»

Interview with Gauden Galea. Federal and Cantonal authorities joined Swiss Health Promotion on June 22nd at the NCD Stakeholders' Event to present and discuss a draft for a National Noncommunicable Diseases Prevention Strategy. Dr Gauden Galea, Director, Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Lifecourse, WHO Regional Office for Europe, travelled from Copenhagen in order to show admiration for the Swiss model from the international perspective. Galea had special praise for the integrative aspects of the Swiss Strategy Draft, its solid basis on evidence, emphasis on prevention, and inclusion of economically disadvantaged and vulnerable population groups. He also commends the consultative and participatory process. more


WHO physical activity strategy launched

WHO/Europe. In September, the WHO Regional Office for Europe approved the physical activity strategy for the WHO European Region 2016-2025 – the WHO's first ever strategy on physical activity. Its target is to bring about a 10% reduction in physical inactivity among the population of Europe by 2025. Switzerland has played a major role in developing the WHO strategy and has already been active for years in the five priority areas that the WHO has defined. What are the WHO's goals and what has Switzerland already achieved in this respect? A comparison. more


Federal Council decides on further measures to counter female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is a violation of human rights and a criminal offence in Switzerland. The Federal Council therefore intends to continue its efforts to counter it. This includes in particular support for measures undertaken by a network that opposes female genital mutilation. more


Better with two: new app for giving up smoking

SmokeFree Buddy app. Having the support of a friend or partner makes it easier to stop smoking. As part of its SmokeFree prevention campaign, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and its partners are launching a new mobile phone app that offers interactive support, the SmokeFree Buddy app. more


TV commercial provides motivation to quit

Lightning strikes and traffic accidents – those are things that only happen to other people! And lung cancer? The SmokeFree campaign's new TV commercial is using this this sobering question to make people aware that giving up smoking is worth the effort. Because smoking damages every organ in the body. Anyone who gives up smoking halves their risk of having a heart attack in just 5 years. And after 10 years, the risk of developing lung cancer drops by half. What's more, people have more success in giving up when they receive professional advice. People who are keen to stop smoking are recommended to make use of support – for example, a stop-smoking advisory service. The SmokeFree Buddy app allows them to obtain the support of a friend or loved one while taking that first step. more


The cooperation of all stakeholders for comprehensive action is the key to success

Interview Jo Locker. As guest speaker at the 4th Tobacco Prevention Partner Conference, Jo Locker, Tobacco Programme Manager from Public Health England (PHE) gave a presentation on the work of her organisation. We spoke with Jo Locker about ambitious goals, alliances and strategies for successful prevention –along the path leading to the PHE's vision of a «tobacco free generation». more