Higher Tobacco Prices Can Help Protect Poor People From Tobacco

The World Health Organization says higher tobacco prices can help protect poor people from tobacco


In accordance with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco(heat not burn heatsticks manufacturer) Control, WHO launched the MPOWER measures in 2008, a set of six cost-effective and high-impact measures to help countries reduce the demand for tobacco.


These measures include: monitoring tobacco(heated tobacco heatsticks supplier) use and prevention policies; protecting people from tobacco smoke; providing help to quit; warnings about the dangers of tobacco; bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and increasing tobacco taxes.


If fully implemented and enforced, the key measures of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, represented by MPOWER, could reduce smoking prevalence in the Eastern Mediterranean region.


A new report by the World Health Organization highlights that 5.6 billion people (71 per cent of the world's population) are now protected by at least one best practice policy to help save lives from deadly tobacco, a figure five times higher than in 2007.


Smoking prevalence has declined over the past 15 years since the WHO MPOWER tobacco control initiative was introduced globally.


This WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic focuses on protecting the public from second-hand smoke and highlights that nearly 40% of countries now have completely smoke-free indoor public places.


The report assesses progress in tobacco control, showing that two countries, Mauritius and the Netherlands, have achieved best practice levels for all MPOWER measures, while only Brazil and Sri Lanka have achieved this so far.


Smoke-free public places is just one policy in a suite of effective tobacco control measures, MPOWER, to help countries implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and curb the tobacco epidemic.


Smoke-free environments help people breathe clean air, protect the public from deadly second-hand smoke, motivate people to quit, de-normalize smoking and help prevent young people from starting to smoke or use e-cigarettes.


Michael r. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries and Founder of the Bloomberg Philanthropies, said, "While smoking rates have been declining, tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the world, due in large part to the tobacco industry's endless marketing campaigns.


"As this report shows, our work is having a huge impact, but there is still much more to be done. By helping more countries implement smart policies backed by public opinion and science, we will be able to improve public health and save millions of lives."


There are still 44 countries around the world that are still not covered by WHO's MPOWER measures, and 53 countries that have yet to completely ban smoking in health care facilities. Meanwhile, only about half of countries have smoke-free private workplaces and restaurants.


Increasing tobacco taxes and prices is one of the most effective, yet least utilized, tobacco control measures used by countries to address a variety of problems.


For example, by raising prices, taxes protect the poor from exposure to a product that kills and causes disease. In fact, taxes are the most effective means of incentivizing current (mainly male) tobacco users to quit. This is especially true for low-income populations and for tobacco users in low- and middle-income countries, where 75 per cent of smokers live. By discouraging people from smoking, tobacco taxes also reduce the exposure of non-smokers, including children and women, to second-hand smoke.


Of the world's 1.3 billion tobacco users, about 80 per cent live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related disease and death is highest. Tobacco use exacerbates poverty by shifting household expenditures away from basic needs such as food and shelter. This consumption behavior is difficult to control, as tobacco is highly addictive.