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MPOWER should also regulate ENDS : WHO Report

According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS2) conducted by Word Health Organisation and Union ministry of health and family welfare found that cardiovascular disease are topping the list of tobacco induced illness. Which is an alarming sign for many governments and thus they are making progress in the fight against tobacco.

WHO figure shows that 5 billion people today living in countries that have introduced smoking bans, graphic warnings on packaging and other effective tobacco control measures – four times more people than a decade ago. But unfortunately new WHO report shows that many countries are still not adequately implementing policies, including helping people quit tobacco.

Measures, like the “MPOWER” interventions, have been shown to save lives and reduce costs from averted healthcare expenditure. The MPOWER report was launched in 2007 to promote government action on six tobacco control strategies in-line with the WHO FCTC to:

  1. Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies.

  2. Protect people from tobacco smoke.

  3. Offer help to quit tobacco use.

  4. Warn people about the dangers of tobacco.

  5. Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

  6. Raise taxes on tobacco.

“Quitting tobacco is one of the best things any person can do for their own health,” said Dr Tedros, WHO Director-General . “The MPOWER package gives governments the practical tools to help people kick the habit, adding years to their life and life to their years.”

According to WHO, Member States that have not banned ENDS ( Electronic nicotine delivery systems ) should consider regulating them as harmful products, and governments should implement the regulatory measures for ENDS that they determine are most appropriate for their domestic context. This may entail, for example, regulating ENDS as tobacco products, products imitating tobacco, or as a specifically defined category. Although the specific level of risk associated with ENDS has not yet been conclusively estimated, ENDS are undoubtedly harmful and should therefore be subject to regulation.

Like any product that can cause harm and damage health, all ENDS products should be regulated and existing and effective policy toolkits, like MPOWER, can be applied productively to ENDS.

“More countries are making tobacco control a priority and saving lives, but there’s still much more work to be done,” said Mr Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries . “The WHO’s new report shines a spotlight on global efforts to help people quit using tobacco and it details some of our most important gains.”

WHO Editor’s note

Since the last report, issued in 2017, the WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2019, also finds that

  1. 36 countries have introduced one or more MPOWER measures at the highest level of achievement.

  2. Over half of the world’s population – 3.9 billion people living in 91 countries – benefit from large graphic pack warnings featuring all recommended characteristics, making it the MPOWER measure with both the highest population coverage and the most countries covered.

  3. 14 countries have implemented large graphic warning laws at best practice level, making it the MPOWER policy with the greatest growth in terms of country uptake during the last two years.

  4. The greatest growth in population coverage was seen in tobacco taxation. The population coverage from this MPOWER policy has almost doubled from 8% in 2016 to 14% in 2018. But while being the most effective way to reduce tobacco use, taxation is still the MPOWER policy with the lowest population coverage.

  5. Of the 5 billion people protected by at least one MPOWER policy, 3.9 billion live in LMICs (or 61% of all people in LMICs).

  6. 59 countries have yet to adopt a single MPOWER measure at the highest level of achievement – 49 are LMICs.

  7. In the world’s 34 low-income countries, 17 today have at least one MPOWER policy in place at best-practice level compared to three in 2007, showing that income level is not a barrier to best-practice tobacco control

Five billion people – about 65% of the world’s population – are now covered by at least one MPOWER measure at the highest level of achievement.



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