Global Tobacco Control Updates

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has decreased global smoking rate but more action is needed
03 Apr 2017
Research Alert

A new study published by researchers at the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, University of Waterloo in Canada, examines the effects on smoking of key measures of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). These measures include: raise tobacco taxes (Article 6), smoke-free public spaces (Article 8), health warning labels (Article 11), comprehensive advertising bans (Article 13), and support for smoking cessation services (Article 14). The study analyzed WHO data from 126 countries, tracking strong implementation of the five key policies. Researchers explored the relationship between the number of measures fully implemented and country's smoking rates from 2005 to 2015.

Key Findings:

  • On average, the smoking rate across 126 countries decreased from 24.7 percent in 2005 to 22.2 percent in 2015.
    • Trends varied across countries. Smoking rates decreased in 90 countries, increased in 24 and remained the same in 12 countries. 
  • Between 2005 and 2015, smoking rates declined 7.1 percent in Northern Europe and 6.8 percent in Latin American and South America. These are regions where countries had implemented a number of key tobacco control policies that met the WHO’s criteria for the highest level of achievement.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, smoking rates increased in 3.4 percent in Western Africa, 12.6 percent in Middle Africa, and 4.6 percent in Northern Africa. These are regions where countries have introduced very few FCTC policies.
  • The following counts reflect country adoption of policies that met the WHO’s “highest level of achievement” criteria by 2015:
    • 28 percent (35 countries) had highest-level policies on smoke-free public places;
    • 25 percent (32 countries) had highest-level policies on pack health warnings;
    • 22 percent (28 countries) had highest-level policies on taxation on tobacco;
    • 16 percent (20 countries) had highest-level policies on cessation services;
    • 13 percent (16 countries) had comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising.

Key Messages:

  • The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has accelerated implementation life-saving tobacco control policies; however, many countries have not yet fulfilled obligations under the Treaty.
  • Countries that have implemented WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control measures at the highest level have reduced tobacco use.
  • Countries that have not fulfilled their obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control must do so in order to reduce tobacco use and protect public health.

Full Citation: Gravely S., et al, Implementation of key demand-reduction of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and change in smoking prevalence in 126 countries: an association study, The Lancet, 2017.

Full text [English only] available from: http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpub/PIIS2468-2667(17)30045-2.pdf

Additional Resources:

The Lancet is one of the world's oldest and most respected general medical journals. For more than 180 years, it has served as an independent and authoritative voice in global medicine.

If you have questions about the study or how you may use it in your advocacy efforts, please contact globalresearch@tobaccofreekids.org


TAGS:

fctc, smoking, who