The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) was negotiated and adopted to decrease the burden caused by smoking both on the health and economies of the countries most affected. The smokers, users of tobacco, and tobacco growers remained at the heart of discussions and, therefore, the FCTC encompassed both demand and supply-side measures. However, as a recent research report published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has uncovered, actions of the FCTC have not led to the broad impact on smoking that many in the global health community anticipated when the treaty was first introduced.
As we noted in our response letter to the authors of that report, for the FCTC to be truly effective, implementation of all its articles is crucial along with other critical factors not mentioned in their report. In our opinion, the lack of progress and impact on smoking rates after FCTC’s adoption comes from a failure to develop targeted methodology for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Targeting LMICs requires translation of evidence from high-income countries used during the FCTC negotiating process, provision of resources to undertake research, ability to enforce FCTC-compliant laws, and supportive environments needed for the smokers to quit.
All medical professionals need to be at the forefront of efforts to curb smoking. This is a role we have played since the 1960s: The 1962 report by the Royal College of Physicians and the 1964 report by the US Surgeon General on smoking and health to this day remain examples of groundbreaking work led by medical professionals. In fact, a study conducted by British doctors in the 1950s found statistical proof of links between smoking and many diseases.
All aspects of health care are embracing technological advances, cancers are now detected earlier in their onset, and the private sector is working hand-in-hand with medical professions in both clinical and preventive care. The medical profession is best positioned to harness the opportunities offered by the emergence of disruptive technologies. We need to lead this work with innovators to spearhead research that will uncover the needs of the smoker and support smokers’ efforts to quit smoking combustibles.
Adoption of the FCTC remains a watershed moment for tobacco control and for elevating the importance of putting an end to the smoking of combustible tobacco around the world. But in order to achieve our goal, we must put the smokers in the heart of the discussion. Including smokers and their perspectives will be the only way we will truly accelerate the end to combustible tobacco.
Mission is to eliminate smoking worldwide by supporting cessation & harm reduction #research, and transitioning tobacco #farmers to alternative livelihoods.
As @thegtnf comes to a close, a panel on investment will continue the dialogue on the impact investors have on #tobacco companies. For more on the path ahead, explore the Tobacco Transformation Index: https://tobaccotransformationindex.org/
About 90% of the worlds’ #vaping devices are manufactured in #Shenzhen. #China has the potential to lead innovations in the #tobaccharmreduction sector. They must be considered during today’s @thegtnf panel, “Innovation as the Path to Progress” https://www.smokefreeworld.org/china-could-lead-transformation-of-the-tobacco-sector/
“Smoking is the biggest public health challenge in the world today. We need boldness, imagination, & a recognition that consumer preferences & new technology are forces that will drive the change that is needed." - Amb. James Glassman #FightAgainstSmoking https://www.fightagainstsmoking.org/the-global-fight-against-tobacco-has-stalled/
Derek Yach asked the audience at @thegtnf “how many lives could be saved if we were able to adopt #harmreduction in just 3 countries?” The Commission Report #FightAgainstSmoking shows that tobacco use is concentrated in #China, #India & #Indonesia. http://fightagainstsmoking.org
Derek Yach (@swimdaily) asks the industry to consider “doubling down on change” and work together to develop a solution to issues like youth #vaping, misinformation and availability of harm reduced products in LMICs. @theGTNF #GTNF21
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