Challenging Big Industry Narratives:

Alcohol, Tobacco, Unhealthy Food and Drinks: Population Measures and Policies

Date: 27–28 June 2024

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Hotel Intercontinental Ljubljana*****

Themes: non-communicable disease prevention, NCDs risk factors, Commercial Determinants of Health, population-wide prevention measures

Working language: English

The conference aims to provide a platform for policymakers, advocates, researchers, patients, youth, and health practitioners to collectively address the challenges of reducing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by effectively managing their main risk factors.

This conference incorporates the 10th European Alcohol Policy Conference, building on the series of very successful previous European Alcohol Policy Conferences (Warsaw 2004, Helsinki 2006, Barcelona 2008, Brussels 2010, Stockholm 2012, Brussels 2014, Ljubljana 2016, Edinburgh 2018, and Oslo 2022).

This conference provides a unique space for diverse stakeholders to network, debate, and question critical issues related to alcohol policies, tobacco control, policies pertaining to unhealthy food and drinks, and the Commercial Determinants of Health. Through plenary sessions, panel discussions, and workshops, participants will explore topics related to pricing policies, including pro-health taxes, marketing restrictions, community actions, health services’ responses, and the role of civil society in NCD prevention.

Participation Fee




Govt. Instit.


Early birds: until 30 April 2024





Regular applicants: from 1 May to 4 June 2024





Late applicants: after 5 June 2024





The participation fee covers: Unlimited access to the entire conference program, daily lunches and coffee breaks, discounts on accommodation, and a conference bag.

Travel and accommodation

The participants cover their own travel costs to and from the venue in Slovenia and their accommodation. Upon completing the registration process, you will receive a personalized booking code or links to access the discounted top hotel options in close proximity to the conference venue, including Hotel Intercontinental Ljubljana*****. This ensures you can secure accommodation at a discounted rate tailored exclusively for event attendees.

Other accommodation options can be booked here.


Nearby airports

Nearby airports are Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, Franjo Tuđman Airport Zagreb, Trieste Ronchi Airport, and Venice Marco Polo Airport. Upon completing your registration, we will provide exclusive 10% discount codes for, a door-to-door shuttle transportation service. Direction for public transport will be provided upon registration.

Hotel Intercontinental Ljubljana*****

The Conference is happening in the best hotel in Ljubljana, which is located centrally, only 5 minutes walking distance from the main railway and bus station and 10 minutes walking distance from the Ljubljana’s popular Tri Bridges. 

Selection process and confirmation of attendance

Applicants not affiliated with the Alcohol or Tobacco Industry, as declared mandatorily during the application process, will be considered approved once the participation fee is paid. Your place at the conference will be guaranteed after the receipt of the participation fee or booked ticket confirmation.

The spots for the conference are limited and participants will be accepted on a “first come, first served” basis.

In the event that, subsequent to successful registration, it is discovered by the organizers that an applicant represents one of the aforementioned industries or affiliated economic operators, the organizers retain the right to decline their participation in the conference. In such cases, a partial refund of the participation fee will be issued to the card used for registration, with an administrative fee deduction of 100 euros.

Programme and more information

Thursday, 27 June 2024

Welcome & introduction 
Ajda Stepišnik

09:20–10:00Keynote speeches
Peter Rice, Ruediger Krech, Eloïse Delforge, Sara Cerdas, Urška Erklavec (moderator)

Plenary Panel Discussion 1

This session will explore pricing policies related to the Commercial Determinants of Health (health taxes)

Speakers: Jeremias Paul, DG TAXUD (TBA), Arnfinn Helleve, Lilia Olefir (moderator)

11:15–11:45Coffee break

Plenary Panel Discussion 2 

This session will explore the topic of marketing restrictions of harmful products, such as tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food and drinks

Speakers: Ines Costa Louro, Fiona Godfrey, Marleen Kestens


Parallel workshop 1: Health Warnings
Speakers: Karine Gallopel-Morvan, Maria Neufeld, Stig Erik, Sheila Gilheany

Parallel workshop 2: Community action
Speakers: Paula Leonard, YHO (TBA) 


Plenary Panel Discussion 3 

This session will explore the theme of talking or not talking to the industry – effective strategies and lessons learned

Speakers: Ailsa Rutter Obe, Nijole Gostautaite Midttun, Florence Berteletti (moderator)

16:00–16:30Coffee Break

Parallel workshop 3: Alcohol Labelling and CODEX
Speakers: Nikhil Gokani, Amalie Brokhattingen, Juan Tello

Parallel workshop 4: Awareness raising campaigns
Speakers: Sylviane Ratte, Olesia Kozlova, Miryam Savy, Anamaria Suciu

Friday, 28 June 2024
09:00–09:15Welcome and summary of Day 1
Florence Berteletti


Plenary Panel Discussion 4 

This session will clarify the different definitions/meanings of prevention and explore the barriers and facilitators of NCDs prevention from civil society’s perspective

Speakers: Knut-Inge Klepp, Mara van Dooremaal, Frank Murray, TBA


Parallel workshop 5: Availability of alcohol
Speakers: Manca Kozlovič, Hazel Cheeseman, Sheila Gilheany 

Parallel workshop 6: Health services’ response to the NCDs caused by the main risk factors (tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy food and drinks) 
Speakers: Frank Murray, Francisca Valente, Martina Blake


Plenary Panel Discussion 5

This session will explore the theme of partnership, looking into the future, speaking with one voice.

Speakers: Peter Rice, TBA

13:45–14:00Closing remarks

Note. The program is subject to change.

This conference is part of the FILTERED Project – From Siloes to Synergies to Prevent NCDs, co-funded by the European Union (Action Grant, EU4Health Programme). Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Speaker information

Sara Cerdas is a medical doctor from Portugal who has been, since July 2019, a Member of the European Parliament. From competitive swimming in Madeira to representing Portugal in the European Parliament, her journey is one of dedication to public health. With a Master’s in Medicine and Public Health, she champions policies in healthcare, food safety, and environmental health. Awarded MEP of the Year in Health and recognized as one of the most influential MEPs in health policy, Sara leads initiatives on cancer prevention and COVID-19 response. Her work shapes the future of European health policies.

Rüdiger Krech, a public health expert from Germany, holds the position of Director of Health Promotion at the World Health Organization (WHO). He leads WHO’s work on tobacco and alcohol control, physical activity and enhanced well-being; and the programs on public health law and fiscal policies for health. Passionate about universal health coverage, social determinants of health, and Health in All Policies, he advocates for social protection initiatives. His distinguished career is guided by his vision for the role of global health in societal development.

Knut-Inge Klepp is the Executive Director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway, and has served as the CO-CREATE Project Coordinator. He is also the scientific coordinator for Joint Action Prevent Non-Communicable Diseases, focusing on reducing Europe’s cancer and NCD burden through coordinated strategies on health determinants. His expertise lies in adolescent health and developing policies to restrict marketing to children.

Evan Blecher, an economist with expertise in academia, public health, and policy, holds a PhD in economics from the University of Cape Town. He has published extensively, advising international agencies and contributing to global policy discussions. Currently, he works as an Economist in the Global Tax Program at the World Bank, focusing on the impact of tax policies on health behaviors.

Karine Gallopel-Morvan, PhD, is a Professor at EHESP School of Public Health and a researcher at EA 7348 MOS. She also holds an Honorary Professorship at the University of Stirling. Specializing in social marketing for tobacco and alcohol control, she has published extensively and serves on expert committees for organizations like WHO and the European Union.

Marleen Kestens is the manager responsible for cardiovascular disease prevention policies in the European Heart Network. She develops position papers, organises advocacy and information campaigns, and informs EHN member organisations about the developments in the field of cardiovascular disease prevention. Her main fields of interest are food and nutrition policies, tobacco control, air pollution, physical activity policies and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. She holds a Master’s degree in international politics from the Louvain la Neuve University in Belgium.

Hazel Cheeseman is the incoming Chief Executive of ASH (UK) and has worked at the organisation for the last 10 years. Hazel has led much of the organisation’s policy work to address the health inequalities caused by smoking, including in mental health and maternity settings. Over the last two years, she has led a collaborative programme with the UK’s Obesity Health Alliance and Alcohol Health Alliance identifying how to secure greater progress in addressing the countries’ three biggest killers.

Urška Erklavec, a pharmacist by background, is the Head of the newly established Service for NGOs at the National Institute of Public Health in Slovenia and a Board member of the International Youth Health Organization. Prior to this, she worked at the Slovenian Ministry of Health, focusing on various health initiatives during Slovenia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2021, and later shifting her focus to child and youth health at the Public Health Directorate. Previously, she served as President of the Slovenian NCD Alliance and President of No Excuse Slovenia.

Laura Plešnar is a dermatology resident from Croatia and a graduate of the University of Zagreb School of Medicine. She is currently active as a Board member at the International Youth Health Organization and has previously served as the Regional Director for Europe in IFMSA, where she coordinated international initiatives. Her main areas of expertise are mental health, disaster medicine, and public health projects such as “Lov na Tihog Ubojicu” for which she received the Rectors Award.

Stig Erik Sørheim is the Head of the International Department of Actis (Norwegian Policy Network on Alcohol and Drugs). He monitors international alcohol and drug policy at the European and global levels. Additionally, he held the position of vice-chair at the European Civil Society Forum on Drugs. Prior to this, he served as a senior advisor at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, specializing in alcohol and drug matters alongside public health concerns.

Application & Payment

By paying you abide by our Conflict of Interest policy

Questions & answers

If this occurs no later than 6 June, the participant will receive a refund of the participation fee minus 100 euros for administrative costs. Alternatively, participation can be transferred to another individual free of charge at any time.

 You will receive an info pack containing offers from pre-booked hotels and negotiated discounts at other hotels no later than 5 days after registration.

All participants will receive a questionnaire regarding specific needs well in advance of the conference.

 Please inquire with the organizers for any specific accommodation.

The conference is confirmed and will proceed as planned, except in the case of unforeseen force majeure events.

The conference is fully accessible to those with mobility impairments.

This conference does not allocate space or time for such presentations, but there will be ample networking opportunities for participants to become acquainted with each other’s work.

The organizers do not provide this service, but in case of booking the official conference transportation with GoOpti, you will receive instructions on how to avail shuttle services from door to door.