Good Progress Has Been Made In Tobacco Control In Recent Years- WHO

According to the latest estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 1.25 billion adult tobacco users globally.

Trends in 2022 show a continued decline in tobacco use rates globally. With about 1 in 5 adults worldwide consuming tobacco compared to 1 in 3 in 2000.

The report shows that 150 nations are effectively decreasing tobacco use. Brazil and the Netherlands are seeing a positive outcome after they executed MPOWER tobacco control measures, with Brazil making a general decrease of 35% in 2010 and the Netherlands nearly reaching at the 30% target.

“Good progress has been made in tobacco control in recent years, but there is no time for complacency. I’m astounded at the depths the tobacco industry will go to pursue profits at the expense of countless lives. We see that the minute a government thinks they have won the fight against tobacco the tobacco industry seizes the opportunity to manipulate health policies and sell their deadly products,” says Dr Ruediger Krech, Director of WHO Department of Health Promotion.

WHO urges nations to keep setting up tobacco control strategies and keep on battling against tobacco industry impedance.

Right now, the WHO South-East Asian Locale has the highest level of populace using tobacco at 26.5% with the European region not a long ways behind at 25.3%. The WHO European Region is projected to have the highest rates worldwide by 2030, with a prevalence of just over 23%, according to the report.

Tobacco use rates among women in WHO’s European region are more than double the global average and are reducing much slower than in all other regions.

Even though the numbers have been steadily falling over time, by 2025, the world will have reduced tobacco use by 25% relative to the 2010 baseline, falling short of the voluntary global reduction goal of 30%. Just 56 countries worldwide will reach at this objective, down four nations since the last report in 2021.

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The prevalence of tobacco use has changed little since 2010 in some countries, while six countries are still seeing tobacco use rising: Congo, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Oman, and Republic of Moldova.

That being said, WHO is encouraging nations to speed up endeavors for tobacco control as there is still a lot of work to be done.

“The Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2023”, published by STOP and the Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control, show that efforts to protect health policy from increased tobacco industry interference have deteriorated around the world.

Country surveys consistently show that children aged 13–15 years in most countries are using tobacco and nicotine products. To protect the future generations and ensure that tobacco use continues to decline, WHO will dedicate this year’s World No Tobacco Day to Protecting children from tobacco industry interference.

In February 2024, countries are set to meet in Panama for the 10th Session of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Conference of Parties where the tobacco industry will try to influence global health policies by offering financial and in-kind incentives, interfering with countries rights to protect the health of their populations.

Strengthening the WHO FCTC is a global health priority outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals.

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