The World Health Organization, WHO, has announced a massive decline of smokers globally.
According to a report by the WHO, tobacco users have dropped by two million.
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The report stated that between 2015 and 2021, there is a reduction from 1.32 billion to 1.30 billion.
There is also compliance from sixty countries in achieving the global target of 30 per cent reduction. This goal elapses in 2025. In 2019, only 32 countries complied.
“Millions of lives have been saved by effective and comprehensive tobacco control policies under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and MPOWER – a great achievement in the fight against the tobacco epidemic,” it stated.
The organization says that one in three countries would likely achieve the 30 per cent reduction.
According to the report, the upper-middle-income countries are, on average, making the slowest progress in reducing tobacco use but in some 29 countries. Data quality is low or insufficient to know the trend, so more monitoring is needed.
“The data behind these estimates are from 1,728 national surveys run by countries between 1990 and 2020, which together asked 97 per cent of the world’s population about their tobacco use. Article 20 of the WHO FCTC underlines the importance of running surveys to obtain evidence of the tobacco epidemic, and now 190 countries have run at least one national survey – up from 140 in 2004 when the treaty was not yet in force.
“WHO and partners have made a large contribution to filling the data gaps in low- and middle-income countries via the Global Tobacco Surveillance System surveys, the STEPS survey and the World Health Survey,” it said.
In the Americas Region, the average rate of tobacco has dropped from 21 per cent to 16 per cent.
“Women in Europe are the slowest in the world to cut tobacco use. All other WHO regions are on track to reduce tobacco use rates among women by at least 30 per cent by 2025.
“WHO’s Eastern-Mediterranean Region trend: Pakistan is the only country in this region that’s on track to reach the tobacco reduction target. Four of the six countries in the world where tobacco use is increasing are in this region.
“WHO’s southeast Asian Region trend: The region currently has the highest rates of tobacco use, with around 432 million users, or 29 per cent of its population. But this is also the region where tobacco use is declining fastest. The region is likely to reach tobacco use rates similar to the European Region and the Western Pacific Region by 2025.
“WHO’s Western Pacific Region trend: This is projected to become the region with the highest tobacco use rate among men, with more than 45 per cent of men still using tobacco in 2025,” WHO said.
The Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyeseus lauded the global decline.
His words: “We still have a long way to go, and tobacco companies will continue to use every trick in the book to defend the gigantic profits they make from peddling their deadly wares. We encourage all countries to make better use of the many effective tools available for helping people to quit, and saving lives.”
He also advised countries to increase the number of persons immune to tobacco-related disease
He said, “It is clear that tobacco control is effective, and we have a moral obligation to our people to move aggressively in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” says the Director of WHO Department of Health Promotion,
Dr Ruediger Krech. “We are seeing great progress in many countries, which is the result of implementing tobacco control measures that are in line with the WHO FCTC, but this success is fragile. We still need to push ahead.”
There is a new WHO Global Investment Case for Tobacco Cessation. It states that investing $1.68 per capita is evident based cessation intervention. These interventions include* Brief advice.* National toll-free quitlines.* SMS-based cessation support.
It says that with this 152 million tobacco users might quit by 2030.
The WHO had established a tobacco cessation consortium to scale it up.
Source: PUNCH HealhWise