WASHINGTON Tobacco control measures put in place in 41 countries between 2007 and 2010 will prevent some 7.4 million premature deaths by 2050, according to a study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization today.
The study is one of the first to look at the effect of measures since the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) was established in 2005. Jt demonstrates the success of the WHO FCTC in reducing tobacco use and, thus, saving lives.
"It's a spectacular finding that by implementing these simple tobacco control policies, governments can save so many lives," said lead author David Levy, PhD, professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington.
In 2008, WHO identified six evidence-based tobacco control measures that are the most effective in reducing tobacco use, and started to provide technical support to help countries fulfill their WHO FCTC obligations.
Known as "MPOWER," these measures correspond to one or more of the demand reduction provisions included in the WHO FCTC: Monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies, Protecting people from tobacco smoke, Offering help to quit tobacco use, Warning people about the dangers of tobacco, Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, Promotion and sponsorship, and Raising taxes on tobacco.
The authors did a modeling exercise and projected the number of premature deaths that would be averted by 2050 through the implementation of one or more of these measures.
The study focused on the 41 countries (two of which are not Parties to the WHO FCTC) that had implemented the demand reduction measures at "the highest level of achievement," that is, at a level proven to attain the greatest impact.
These countries represented nearly one billion people or one-seventh of the world's population of 6.9 billion in 2008. The total number of smokers in those countries was nearly 290 million
|Contact: Karen Mallet|
Georgetown University Medical Center