NCD Prevention: Reducing the Impact of Health Harming Products

The Context In 2021, 83% of all deaths were caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. 1 in 5 are caused by tobacco, alcohol and obesity. Reducing consumption of health harming products is therefore crucial if we are to see these figures decrease. This has been recognised by many stakeholders working in public health, including the Scottish Government which is currently considering the steps it might take regarding the advertising and promotion of unhealthy products. To view recent consultations held by the Scottish Government, please click the ‘Further Information’ tab below. The Event In 2022, Holyrood partnered with the newly-formed NCD Alliance Scotland – comprised of nine of Scotland’s leading health charities – on the public health day of its Health and Care Festival. In September 2023, we were delighted to partner with the NCD Alliance Scotland once again for this one-day event, to consider what progress has been made in reducing NCD related deaths and ill-health, and discuss what further policy action is required.   Particular focus was placed on improving health outcomes by addressing the “commercial determinants of health,” for example, the pricing, marketing and availability of products, and engaging the public in such discussions. Sessions explored how public health fits within the context of a wellbeing economy, and how such an approach could also improve the health and wellbeing of Scottish citizens, whilst reducing inequalities.    Taking place during the Global Week of Action on NCDs, this event brought together policymakers, public health practitioners, academics and more to discuss these important issues.   See all photos from the event here.

Dr Carey Lunan
Deep End Steering Group
Dr Jules Goodlet-Rowley
Head of Tobacco, Gambling, Diet and Healthy Weight Unit, Scottish Government
Scottish Government
Dr Rachel McAdams
Service Manager, Economy, Poverty and Environment
Public Health Scotland
Frances Bain
Mission Manager
Elinor Jayne
Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems
Dr Paul Nelson
Primary and Social Care Public Health Consultant, Clinical and Protecting Health Directorate
Public Health Scotland
Dr Hamish Foster
Deep End GP and Clinical Research Fellow
University of Glasgow
Carol Mochan MSP
Scottish Labour
Jenni Minto MSP
Minister for Public Health and Women's Health
Scottish Government
Dr Nason Maani
Lecturer in Inequalities and Global Health Policy
University of Edinburgh
Rebecca McQuillan
David McColgan
British Heart Foundation Scotland
Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP
Scottish Conservatives
Lorraine Tulloch
Programme Lead
Obesity Action Scotland
Mark Diffley
Founder and Director, Diffley Partnership
Diffley Partnership
Emma Harper MSP
Member of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee

Our opening session will feature a panel of health professionals who will share their experiences of NCDs on the front line - from prevalence to provision of care.

Earlier this year, a cross-parliamentary group of MSPs - representing CPGs that focus on a range of NCDs - led an inquiry into NCD prevention and health harming products.

In this session we will be joined by some of the MSPs who took part in the inquiry, with delegates having the opportunity to hear first-hand what actions the group would like the Scottish Government and Parliament to take in order to tackle the impact of health harming products. 

There are many opportunities over the next year to take meaningful action to help reduce NCD deaths - from proposals to restrict the promotion of less healthy food and drinks, to a new Tobacco Action Plan and a decision on the future of Minimum Unit Pricing.

In this session, we will discuss what progress could and should be made over the next 12 months and where we hope to be in a year's time.

The panel will also unpack the role of the public, as well as industry, in these discussions and consider how to engage with them.

Health harming products impact not only on the health of the nation but also on the economy, with alcohol, tobacco and obesity estimated to cost between £8.1 billion and £12.4 billion every year. This includes through costs to the NHS and justice system, and productivity loss due to ill health or loss of life.

As the Scottish Government works to create a wellbeing economy, it is important that we put health at the centre of discussions, allowing people to live healthy lives and contribute to the economy. In our final session of the day, our panellists will discuss how that can be done.

Early Bird

Public/third sector

If booked before 23 August 2023

$40 +VAT


Public/third sector

If booked after 23 August 2023

£50 +VAT

    Event Details
    In partnership with