WHO report on tobacco control

Context:
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently released a report on tobacco control measures.
Key Highlights from the Report:
  • Globally, the number of smokers has reduced by 300 million, with the prevalence of smoking declining from 22.8% in 2007 to 17% in 2021. 
  • Nearly 40% of countries now have completely smoke-free indoor public spaces in order to curb second-hand smoke.
    • Of the estimated 8.7 million tobacco-related deaths each year, 1.3 million are of non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Over the past 15 years since the introduction of the MPOWER measures, approximately 5.6 billion people worldwide, representing 71% of the global population, are now protected by at least one of these measures. 
  • Mauritius stands out as an example for fully implementing all MPOWER measures.
MPOWER measures:
  • WHO introduced the MPOWER measures, which assess the implementation of policies to monitor tobacco use, protect people from tobacco smoke, provide assistance to quit smoking, raise awareness about tobacco dangers, enforce tobacco advertising bans, and increase taxes on tobacco products.
Second Hand Smoke:
  • Secondhand smoke exposure occurs when people breathe in smoke breathed out by people who smoke or from burning tobacco products.
  • There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke; even brief exposure can cause serious health problems and be deadly
Dangers of e-cigarettes:
  • The progress made so far is being hindered by the tobacco industry’s relentless promotion of E-cigarettes as a safer substitute for traditional cigarettes.
  • However, E-cigarettes are detrimental to both users and those nearby, particularly when used indoors.
E- Cigarette:
  • An electronic cigarette is a battery-operated device that emits a vaporized solution to inhale. These devices have various names, including e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, vaporizer cigarettes, vapes, and vape pens.
  • E-cigarettes usually contains nicotine—the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products—flavorings, and other chemicals that help to make the aerosol.
  • Using an e-cigarette is sometimes called “vaping“.
  • Manufacturers market e-cigarettes as tools for quitting or cutting down on smoking, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) class them as tobacco products.
How does India fare?
  • As per the report, India has the highest level of achievement when it comes to putting health warning labels on tobacco products and providing tobacco dependence treatment.
  • With 85% of cigarette packs carrying health warnings both on the front and backIndia figures among the top 10 countries in terms of the size of health warnings. The cigarette packets in the country also carry a toll-free number for helping smokers to quit.
  • India has also banned the sale of e-cigarettes, and banned smoking in healthcare facilities and educational institutions.
  • One of the biggest steps in the works is implementing warnings on OTT platform content when actors are seen using tobacco products making India the first country in the world to do so.
News Source: Indian Express 

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