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.
In two years, the introduction of harm reduction products in #Japan has had a greater impact on smokers than over the last 30 years. Watch the video to learn about the current state of #smokingcessation and #harmreduction. http://bit.ly/2WiQkDs
Writing in @TheLancet, FSFW Data Analyst Yuchen Xue notes an oversight in the journal's account of occupational hazards in #China, namely, smoking in the workplace. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2UQRtDD
Derek Yach spoke at the @ForumAurora in #Armenia, where he noted, “I believe that in the next 10-15 years we will end up seeing lung cancer being managed like a chronic disease and no longer being a death sentence like it is today.” #CancerPreventionMonth http://bit.ly/39l7GVL
Life and health insurers are yet another group affected by smoking worldwide. Discover how insurance sectors have a unique opportunity to help end smoking globally and #AccelerateTransformation. http://bit.ly/38RKZrK
In addition to the falling prices of unmanufactured tobacco, smallholder farmers in #Malawi face another adversity: environmental degradation. Social anthropologist @axelklein2 probes into issues facing #AlternativeLivelihoods in a new blog piece: http://bit.ly/38mkBq5
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