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« Points of view | Main | More thoughts on smoking and the nanny state »

Dinner date

I’m giving an after dinner speech at Magdalene College, Cambridge, this evening.

Among other things I'll be talking about Forest and the work we do supporting smokers.

The event, which starts with drinks on an outside terrace, is part of the field trip that precedes the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF) that takes place in London this week.

The first GTNF (or Global Tobacco Network Forum as it was then called) was held in Rio de Janeiro in 2008. I missed it due to a misunderstanding (the invitation sounded too good to be true!) but I’ve attended every GTNF since - in Bangalore (2010), Antwerp (2012), Cape Town (2013), West Virginia (2014), Bologna (2015), Brussels (2016) and New York (2017).

I’d be hard pressed to choose my favourite because they were all memorable for different reasons, good and bad.

But if I was to judge it purely on our hotel, the memorable reception we received when we arrived at 6.00am following a nine-hour flight, and the fact that it was my first and only visit to India, Bangalore is the one that really sticks in my mind.

Cape Town would be up there too, although it didn't make quite the same impression. Nevertheless it’s somewhere I’d like to re-visit because even though I stayed on for a couple of days I saw very little of the actual city.

That’s the problem with conferences. During the event you rarely see much beyond the hotel grounds, even though you might be driven 20 or 30 miles to some ‘special’ location for a drinks reception or gala dinner.

Anyway, based on what I remember, I’d mark my experiences as follows:

Bangalore 9/10
New York 8/10
Cape Town 8/10
West Virginia 7/10
Bologna 6/10
Antwerp 5/10
Brussels 5/10

Inevitably perhaps the conferences that were easiest to get to were the least memorable, which is why I'm struggling to get excited about this week’s event in London (11-14 September).

In fact, until very recently - based on the programme and the list of speakers - I was in two minds whether to go at all.

But more about that next week.

In the meantime here are some posts from previous GNTF conferences:

Welcome to Bangalore
Postcard from India - parts 1, 2 and 3
GTNF 2012 – the highs and lows
Out of South Africa
Greetings from the Greenbrier
Pork chop at a bar mitzvah – reflections on GTNF 2015
Mandela, moon landings and JFK GTNF 2017

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Reader Comments (1)

I am guessing that what was once a positive event about tobacco and smokers is now just another how-do-we-force-smokers-to-vape-or-quit event

Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 14:04 | Unregistered Commenterpat nurse

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