Action needed to help tobacco users quit across the globe

More than half of the countries who signed the WHO 2005 Framework Convention on Tobacco Control have not formed plans to help tobacco users quit.

The on (WHO FCTC) is a treaty developed to tackle the global tobacco epidemic that is killing 5 million people each year. It came into force in 2005 and is legally binding in 175 countries. The FCTC requires each country to develop plans to help in their population to stop—plans that should be based on strong scientific evidence for what works.

Two surveys of 121 countries just published in the scientific journal Addiction reveal that more than half of those countries have yet to develop these plans.

Just 53 of the 121 countries surveyed (44%) report having treatment guidelines: 75% of the high-income countries; 42% of upper-middle-income countries, 30% of lower-middle-income countries and only 11% of low-income countries.

Only one-fifth of the countries surveyed had a dedicated budget for treating .

Commenting on the findings, Professor Robert West, Editor-in-Chief of Addiction, said: "Tobacco dependence treatment is a very inexpensive way of saving lives, much cheaper and more effective than many of the clinical services routinely provided by health systems worldwide. These reports map out for the first time the work that needs to be done to make this treatment accessible to those who could benefit from it. I hope they will be a spur to action."

More information: Piné-Abata H, McNeill A, Raw M, Bitton A, Rigotti N, and Murray R. A survey of tobacco dependence treatment guidelines in 121 countries. Addiction, 108: doi: 10.1111/add.12158
Piné-Abata H, McNeill A, Murray R, Bitton A, Rigotti N, and Raw M. A survey of tobacco dependence treatment services in 121 countries. Addiction, 108: doi: 10.1111/add.12172

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

WHO urges global ban on all tobacco marketing

May 29, 2013

Governments worldwide must ban all forms of tobacco marketing, not just billboards and TV ads, as companies find new ways to tap the market, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Cigarette firms slowing anti-tobacco fight: report

Mar 20, 2012

Alleged "interference" by cigarette firms in public health policies is slowing down a UN-backed global campaign against tobacco use and its related health risks, a report said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Meth mouth menace

Apr 21, 2014

Something was up in Idaho. While visiting a friend in Athol, a small town north of Coeur d'Alene, Jennifer Towers, director of research affairs at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, noticed ...

More teens abstaining from alcohol

Apr 10, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—A broad change in drinking behaviour has occurred among Australian adolescents in the last decade. The percentage of Australians aged 14-17 who do not drink alcohol has increased from ...

User comments