Challenges and Opportunities

Since 2014, a distinguished advisory board has helped the GTNF team to define its agenda.  Once again, in 2017, we are selecting the most relevant topics and the most influential speakers and panelists to shed light on them.

Each year, we are also proud to welcome a growing range of voices from experts and thought-leaders both inside and, crucially, outside tobacco and nicotine. The participation of representatives from government, the financial sector, public health and the media offers a unique opportunity to gain broader and deeper insights into the challenges facing our business.

Visit this page for updates as we develop an Agenda that reflects the issues and ideas you need to know about now.

For further information on speakers and panel participants, please visit our page at Look Who’s Talking 2017. Timing detail and participant names will continue to be updated.

NB: All plenary, breakout and networking events will take place in the New York Barclay Hotel unless otherwise noted below. 


REGISTRATION DAY – Tuesday September 12

11:00 – 18:00 – Registration

17:00 – 18:45 – Women In Tobacco (WIT) Event (Rockefeller Center) Speaker: Ashley Davis, founder, partner, West Front Strategies (government relations) sponsored by RAI Services and National Tobacco

19.00 – 22:00 Welcome Reception (Rockefeller Center) sponsored by RAI Services                                                

DAY ONE – Wednesday September 13 

07:00 – 08:00 – BREAKFAST  (sponsored by Universal Leaf Tobacco)

08:05 – 08:15 – Welcome/Open Event: Elise Rasmussen, founder and president, GTNF; Mark Kehaya, chairman, Alliance One International (AOI), and chairman, GTNF Advisory Board; Patrick Basham, director, Democracy Institute.

08:15 – 08:40 – Keynote – Debra Crew, president and CEO, RAI

08:45 – 09:25 –Keynote – Mitch Zeller, director, FDA Center for Tobacco Products 

09:30 – 09:40 – Keynote – Derek Yach, senior vice president and chief medical officer, The Vitality Group

09:45 – 09:55 – Keynote Michael Cummings, professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; co-director, Tobacco Policy and Control Program at Hollings Cancer Center

10:00 – 10:10 – Keynote – Dorothy Hatsukami, Forster Family professor in Cancer Prevention, professor of psychiatry, associate director, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, MN

10:15 – 10:35 – COFFEE (sponsored by Madvapes) 

10:40 – 10:50 – Keynote Amy Fairchild, associate dean of academic affairs and professors, Texas A&M University School of Public Health

10:55 – 11:45 – Plenary Panel Discussion I: Nicotine policy and public health Moderator: Jack Henningfield, vice president, research, health policy and abuse liability, Pinney Associates. Panelists: Michael Cummings; Amy Fairchild; Dorothy Hatsukami; Derek Yach;

11:50 – 12:30 – Keynote 6Julian Kinderlerer, emeritus professor of IP law, University of Cape Town; former president and current member, European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technology. (EGE); associate, SciCom – Making Sense of Science; with whom he has published extensively and organised multiple engagement platforms, the most recent being the ‘Pan-African; Science, Society & Policy Indaba (Dialogue)’; chemist and professor of Intellectual Property Law; member, and immediate past president, European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) (which advises European Commission President Juncker).

Keynote 6 Title: Ethics and Principles of Science and Society Policy-Making: The Brussels and Cape Town Declarations, 2012 – 2021

This plenary bridges the 2017 launch of The Brussels Declaration (a unique, twenty-point blueprint for a new set of ethics & principles to inform work at the boundary between science, society and policy), to ongoing work towards its pan-African equivalent, The Cape Town Declaration to be launched at the World Science Forum 2021.

12:30  – 13:45 – LUNCH (sponsored by Hengfeng Paper)

13:55 – 14:55 Plenary Panel Discussion II: Finding common ground: promoting engagement among stakeholders to advance policy-related objectives. Moderator: Scott Ballin, health policy consultant. Panelists: Clive Bates, director, Counterfactual (consultancy and advocacy group); Tanya Denckla Cobb, director, Institute for Environmental Negotiation, University of Virginia; Mohamadi Sarkar, director, regulatory sciences, Altria; Jim Solyst, vice president, federal regulatory affairs, Swedish Match North America; David Sweanor, adjunct professor of law, University of Ottawa 


 15:00– 16:30 – Sessions 1, 2, 3

Regulation – Empire Room

Harm reduction – Barclay Room A

Sustainable futures – Barclay Room B

Session #1: Enforcement of existing US tobacco and nicotine regulations

Session #2: Tobacco harm reduction models

Session #3: The investor/analyst view of NGPs

16:35 – 16:55 – COFFEE (sponsored by U.S. Tobacco Cooperative)

17:00 – 18:30 – Sessions 4, 5, 6

Session #4: Global implications of product standards

Session #5: Risk and regulation: the impact of excessive legislation on consumer behavior

Session #6: Leaf Trends

18:30 – 19:30 – Networking Reception (sponsored by Allliance One International)

19:30 – late – Dinner and Golden Leaf Awards (sponsored by BMJ)

DAY TWO – Thursday September 14

07:30 – 08:45 – BREAKFAST (sponsored by Universal Leaf Tobacco)

08:50 – 08:55 – Welcome/Open Day 2

09:00 – 09:25 – Keynote – Marc Firestone, senior vice-president and general counsel, PMI

09:30 – 09:55 – Keynote – Hugh Haydon, president, Kentucky BioProcessing Inc. (KBP)

10:00 – 10:25 – KeynoteJose Luis Murillo, vice president, regulatory affairs, Altria

10:30 – 10:55 – COFFEE (sponsored by Madvapes)

11:00 – 11:25 – Keynote – Kingsley Wheaton, managing director, next generation products, BAT

11:30 – 12:30 – Plenary Panel Discussion III: What is sound science? Moderator: David Abrams, professor, department of social and behavioral sciences, NYU College of Global Public Health. Panelists: Konstantinos Farsalinos, research fellow, Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, (Athens); Kgosi Letlape, president, Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA); American Journal of Public Health; Riccardo Polosa, professor of internal medicine, University of Catania

12:35  – 14:05 – LUNCH – (sponsored by SWM)


Regulation – Empire Room

Harm reduction – Barclay Room A

Sustainable futures – Barclay Room B

14:05 – 15:45 – Sessions 7, 8, 9

Session #7: Anti-illicit trade

Session #8: Future of next generation products

Session #9: Liking, wanting and needing: contemplating and regulating appetites and addiction.

15:50 – 16:15 – COFFEE (sponsored by U.S. Tobacco Cooperative)

 16:20 – 17:20 Plenary Panel Discussion IV: Harm reduction in other settings. Moderator: Sally Satel, psychiatrist and lecturer, Yale University School of Medicine. Panelists: David Abrams, professor, department of social and behavioral sciences, NYU College of Global Public Health; Guy Bentley, research associate, Freedom Foundation; Mark Goodwin, cardiovascular specialist, Advocate Health; Damon Jacobs, marriage and family therapist and associate fellow, R Street Institute; Mark Kleiman, professor of Public Policy, New York University/Marron Institute of Urban Management

17:25 – 17:35 – Event Overview – Mark Littlewood, director general, Institute of Economic Affairs

17:40 – 18:05 – Closing Keynote – David O’Reilly, group scientific and R&D director, BAT.

 18:10 – 18:20 – Last Word – Patrick Basham

 18:25 – 18:45 – Official close of GTNF 2017

 18:45 – 21:30 – Closing drinks/Networking (sponsored by Turning Point Brands)