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As 2018 ends, let’s take stock of whether we are making real progress in ending smoking. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that there are still more than 1 billion smokers in the world today, and more than 7 million lives are prematurely claimed by smoking-related cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. Combustible cigarettes and certain forms of toxic smokeless tobacco products together remain the largest preventable cause of premature deaths globally. The stakes remain unacceptably high.
Market-led solutions, driven by the demand of smokers for reduced-harm products or better ways to quit, have made headlines this year. My favorites are the following:
Some governments have made notable progress; for example, the United Kingdom has greatly improved the regulation of reduced-harm products. However, many international bodies actively shun tobacco harm reduction, which is a key element of overall tobacco control. Below are a few examples of actions against harm reduction.
The highest quit rate attributed to current pharmaceutical cessation treatments after 1 year is <25%. In fact, WHO indicated that pharmacological nicotine-replacement therapy, alone or combined with other prescription cessation medications, increases quit rates by only about 7%. Moreover, the pipeline for new therapies is virtually empty, and no new products are expected within 5-10 years. There surely is room for improvement.
Consumers demand change and a longer and healthier life. Evolving technologies can lower health risks significantly. Governments need to act more forcefully in the interest of smokers; not cower before opposition to harm reduction. Millions of lives are at stake.
As we enter a new year, let’s redouble our efforts to end smoking faster.
Looking forward to tomorrow’s panel at 7am est when Derek Yach (@swimdaily), Jed Rose, @RiccardoPolosa, @patriciakova, and @Doctor_Sud will discuss issues related to #tobaccoharmreduction policy and how new technologies could help to achieve the @FCTCofficial's stated goals.
15 Years Conference Day #1 https://youtu.be/nhb2Ulaxdyk via @YouTube live and also for replay.
Excellent panel, great discussion, fabulous questions from around the world.
Hoping to make a real difference globally using @FCTCofficial #FCTC4All
More tomorrow at 12 BST!
Happy #InternationalPodcastDay! Listen to global health experts discuss the latest research in #smokingcessation, #tobaccoharmreduction and #nicotine science on the Global Health Perspectives Podcast with Derek Yach (@swimdaily): https://spoti.fi/36kmRjK
.@Doctor_Sud, co-founder of @CHRE_UK and #smokingcessation doctor, discusses the lack of inclusive smoking cessation services, #tobaccoharmreduction solutions, and the @15Conference on the Global Health Perspectives Podcast with Derek Yach (@swimdaily): https://bit.ly/33g9AXl
Who is getting tobacco regulations right? Derek Yach (@swimdaily) believes “at present, very few”. Read more about how #tobacco regulations are preventing #tobaccoharmreduction products from saving millions of lives: https://bit.ly/2HBzKvf
At @gtnf2020, Alicia Forry @Investec said "#tobacco companies are viewed suspiciously by investors; they must commit to moving customers to reduced-risk products." The Tobacco Transformation Index can help investors evaluate the commitment of companies: https://bit.ly/3kMWabb
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