Global Tobacco Control Updates
A new study just released in Tobacco Control looks for the first time at future global smoking trends if countries immediately implement the World Health Organization’s MPOWER package of effective and scientifically-proven measures to reduce tobacco use.
The study finds that over the next 20 years, full implementation of the MPOWER strategies worldwide, including a onetime 100% price increase, can reduce the number of smokers from a projected 872 million if nothing more is done to 523 million. As half of lifetime smokers die of tobacco-related diseases, this could save tens of millions of lives. No other single set of measures has the power to save this many lives in such a short time.
The new study compared what would happen from 2010 to 2030 if countries did nothing more to implement the MPOWER measures and if they fully implemented them.
- If countries take no additional action to reduce tobacco use, the global number of smokers will increase by 10 percent, from around 794 million in 2010 to a staggering 872 million smokers worldwide by 2030.
- If countries immediately implement the MPOWER package, the global smoking rate will decline by 44 percent, from 23.7% in 2010 to 13.2% in 2030. The number of smokers worldwide would fall to 523 million.
- Implementation of the MPOWER package will result in a downward trend in smoking in every region of the world.
- The study confirmed that raising tobacco taxes has the largest impact on consumption, among the MPOWER strategies. To significantly reduce tobacco use, large tobacco tax increases are necessary, and taxes must be increased multiple times to achieve public health goals.
- Immediate implementation of the MPOWER strategies with substantial tobacco tax increases will substantially reduce tobacco use and save millions of lives worldwide.
- In addition to full implementation of MPOWER, governments must continue to develop and adopt new tobacco control measures and must significantly raise taxes and continue to raise taxes in order to fully eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use.
A link to the abstract [English only] can be found at: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2012/04/19/tobaccocontrol-2011-050147.short?g=w_tobaccocontrol_ahead_tab
Full Citation: Méndez D, Alshanqeety O, & Warner KE. The potential impact of smoking control policies on future global smoking trends. Tobacco Control. 2012.
Tobacco Control is an internationally peer-reviewed journal covering the nature and consequences of tobacco use worldwide. The journal is for health professionals and others in tobacco control and is a publication of the British Medical Journal.
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