WHO reports progress in the fight against tobacco epidemic

27 July, 2021

Extracts and a comment from me below. Read online: https://www.who.int/news/item/27-07-2021-who-reports-progress-in-the-fig...

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WHO reports progress in the fight against tobacco epidemic

Highlights threats posed by new nicotine and tobacco products

27 July 2021

Many countries are making progress in the fight against tobacco, but a new World Health Organization report shows some are not addressing emerging nicotine and tobacco products and failing to regulate them.

Increased adoption of WHO-recommended tobacco control measures

- More than four times as many people are now covered by at least one WHO-recommended tobacco control measure as compared with 2007. The six MPOWER measures are monitoring tobacco use and preventive measures; protecting people from tobacco smoke; offering help to quit; warning about the dangers of tobacco; enforcing bans on advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and raising taxes on tobacco.

- Some 5.3 billion people are now covered by at least one of these measures - more than four times the 1 billion who were covered in 2007.

- More than half of all countries and half the world’s population are now covered by at least two MPOWER measures at the highest level of achievement. This reflects an increase of 14 countries and almost one billion more people since the last report in 2019.

- More than half of the world’s population are exposed to tobacco products with graphic health warnings. However, progress has not been even across all MPOWER measures. Some measures like raising tobacco taxes have been slow to move and 49 countries remain without any MPOWER measures adopted.

Need to tackle threats posed by new nicotine and tobacco products.

For the first time, the 2021 report presents new data on electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as ‘e-cigarettes’. These products are often marketed to children and adolescents by the tobacco and related industries that manufacture them, using thousands of appealing flavours and misleading claims about the products...

The proportion of people using tobacco has declined in most countries, but population growth means the total number of people smoking has remained stubbornly high. Currently, of the estimated 1 billion smokers globally, around 80% of whom live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Tobacco is responsible for the death of 8 million people a year, including 1 million from second-hand smoke...

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Comment (NPW): 'More than half of the world’s population are exposed to tobacco products with graphic health warnings.' A picture says a thousand words. Graphic photographs of cancers and gangrenous limbs are know to be effective deterrents. But how effective are they? Smokers I know appear to be immune to such messaging, ignoring and 'blocking out' the graphic warnings on their cigarette packs or tobacco pouches. How can such warnings be made more effective? More broadly, how many people are fully - or even partly - aware of the true risks of smoking? And how many are able to process adequately the implications of their habit?

Please retweet: https://twitter.com/hifa_org/status/1420025272959655940

Graphic health warnings on cigarette packs save lives.

Massive progress in past 10 years.

Half the world population is now informed by such warnings

How do we reach the other half?

Join HIFA www.hifa.org/join

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org