GLOBAL TOBACCO EPIDEMIC (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 - Health)

News-CRUX-10     2nd August 2023        
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Context: Netherlands and Mauritius have now joined Brazil and Turkey in implementing all the recommended measures to reduce tobacco smoking globally, United Nations’ health agency the World Health Organization said.

  • In a fresh report, WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2023: protect people from tobacco smoke, the UN health agency urged countries to scale up their use of recognised measures to reduce tobacco use. 

Key Points

    • The MPOWER tobacco control measures by the health agency provide tips on quitting and preventing passive smoking, as well as information on tobacco risks, information on restrictions on advertising, promotion and sponsorship and information about raising taxes on tobacco.
      • The Parties of the WHO Framework Convention have committed themselves to protecting the health of their populations in a battle against the global tobacco epidemic.  
      • In order to assist the countries fulfill their commitments under the Framework Convention, en 2008, the WHO established MPOWER,  a plan consisting of the six most important and effective tobacco control methods.
  • The six MPOWER strategies include:
      • M: Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
      • P: Protect people from tobacco smoke
      • O: Offer help to quit smoking
      • W: Warn about the dangers of tobacco
      • E: Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
      • R: Raise taxes on tobacco
  • The global rate of the prevalence of smoking had dropped from 22.8 percent in 2007 to 17 per cent in 2021. 
  • Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death, killing 8.7 million people each year, including 1.3 million who die from inhaling second-hand smoke.
  • 74 countries have no regulations in place addressing such products, meaning no bans on use in public places, no labelling requirements and no bans on advertising. 


Steps Taken by India to control Tobacco Consumption 

  • India adopted the tobacco control provisions under WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
  • The Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019 prohibits Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement of e-Cigarettes.
  • The Government of India launched the National Tobacco Quitline Services (NTQLS) which have the sole objective to provide telephone-based information, advice, support, and referrals for tobacco cessation.
  • mCessation Programme is a similar initiative which uses mobile technology for tobacco cessation. It was launched in 2016 as part of the government’s Digital India initiative.
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