New Research: MPOWER Policies Could Reduce Global Tobacco Use by 44%
A new study – funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and appearing in the journal Tobacco Control — found that worldwide smoking rates could be reduced by 44 percent in only 20 years if countries immediately adopt the proven tobacco-control policies developed by the World Health Organization and implemented via the Bloomberg Initiative on Global Tobacco Control. These policies, collectively known as the MPOWER package, include higher tobacco taxes, programs to help smokers quit, advertising bans and anti-tobacco education programs.
Kelly Henning, M.D., director of Public Health Programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies said, “We know when MPOWER measures are implemented, the results are clear: fewer people use tobacco and they live longer, healthier lives. This research clearly shows just how effective these policies can be if they are broadly adopted. We are proud of the progress to date of the Bloomberg Initiative, but there is still much work to be done.”
According to the study, the global adult smoking rate was 23.7 percent in 2010. The author estimate that if no additional policies are set in place, global prevalence will continue to grow to 872 million smokers by 2030. However, if countries immediately implement MPOWER, the global smoking prevalence would fall to 523 million smokers by 2030.
Matthew Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement that “No other public health measures have the potential to save so many lives in such a short time. These findings are a powerful reminder to governments that we know how to dramatically reduce tobacco use, the world’s number one cause of preventable death.”
Given that half of lifetime tobacco users are killed by tobacco-related sickness, these policies have the potential to save tens of millions of lives.
Read the full study [subscription required]