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WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently released the 9th edition of its report on the global tobacco epidemic, highlighting progress made by countries in their efforts to control tobacco use. This comprehensive report, which tracks developments since 2008, sheds light on the advancements, challenges, and areas requiring urgent attention in the fight against tobacco consumption.

This topic of “WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

Navigating Progress: 9th Edition Report

Tracking Measures and Progress

  • The 9th edition of the report focuses on evaluating progress in tobacco control measures made by various countries since 2008.

Key Highlights

Successful Implementation of Recommended Measures

  • Several countries, including the Netherlands, Mauritius, Brazil, and Turkey, have successfully implemented all recommended tobacco control measures.

Close to Implementation

  • Ethiopia, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Madagascar, Mexico, New Zealand, and Spain are only one policy step away from implementing all recommended measures.

Unprotected Population and Inadequate Measures

  • Shockingly, about 2.3 billion people in 44 countries lack any WHO anti-tobacco measures.
  • 53 states do not have complete smoking bans in healthcare facilities.

Positive Impact on Smoking Prevalence

  • The prevalence of smoking has dropped from 22.8% in 2007 to 17% in 2021, preventing an estimated 300 million additional smokers.

Protection from Tobacco Dangers

  • Over 5.6 billion people, more than seven in ten individuals globally, are now protected from the dangers of tobacco smoke.

Alarming Tobacco-Related Deaths

  • Tobacco-related deaths amount to 8.7 million people annually, including 1.3 million due to second-hand smoke exposure.
  • Tobacco remains a leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide.

E-Cigarette Regulations

  • The report highlights inadequate regulation of e-cigarettes globally:
    • 121 countries have adopted some measures.
    • 74 countries lack regulations, allowing use in public places, advertising, and labelling without restrictions.
    • 88 countries, encompassing 2.3 billion people, have no minimum age for purchasing e-cigarettes.

Urgent Call for Action

  • The report urges countries to scale up the use of recognized measures to effectively reduce tobacco use.

Milestones and Significance

MPOWER Technical Package

  • The release of this report coincides with the 15-year anniversary of the introduction of the MPOWER technical package.
  • The MPOWER package is designed to assist in implementing demand-reduction measures outlined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

MPOWER Tobacco Control Measures

  • These measures encompass:
    • Providing tips for quitting smoking.
    • Preventing passive smoking.
    • Disseminating information on tobacco risks.
    • Enforcing restrictions on advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.
    • Raising taxes on tobacco products.

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