Will be over 1 billion smokers by 2025, control measures have proven ineffective: WHO


The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts an impressive number of over 1 billion smokers in 2025 and beyond, indicating that tobacco control measures that aim to curb uptake and encourage cessation of the drug tobacco are found to be less effective.

Countries are rethinking their traditional tobacco control policies; by adding a “harm reduction” approach, to offer adults who would otherwise continue to smoke less harmful products scientifically proven as alternatives.

The United States has always taken the lead in supporting “an appropriate regulatory framework for new product innovations” by taking a science-based approach. It requires manufacturers to file a pre-market tobacco product (PMTA) application with the FDA, providing scientific data to demonstrate that the product is appropriate for the protection of public health.

Likewise, in 2017, the UK Department of Health released its five-year tobacco plan for England, with the aim of reducing the smoking rate among adult smokers to 12% by 2022. The government has acknowledged the role that science-based innovations can play in helping adult smokers quit smoking altogether and actively encouraging smokers to consider using alternatives, which are less harmful.

Today, progressive tobacco control policies are also adopted by developed and emerging countries.

Recently, Uruguay has gone from a “nanny state” with restrictive tobacco control laws to a progressive state; give the consumer freedom of choice. In 2005, the government announced a series of mandates to reduce tobacco consumption, resulting in a decades-long effort to dramatically increase regulation of the industry. In March 2021, in a landmark decision, the government of Uruguay overturned the ban and noted that the industry can play a role in reducing the impact of smoking.

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