Tobacco (46) Compilation of the discussion so far...

10 March, 2023

Dear all,

Thank you for your valuable contributions to the discussion so far! Special thanks to our top contributor Eduardo Bianco (Uruguay, 10 messages), Sian Williams (UK,4), Chris Bostic (USA,3), Jum'atil Fajar (Indonesia,3), William Cotrone (USA,2). Thanks also to Didier Demassosso (Cameroon), Erica Frank (Canada), Miriam Chickering (USA), Peter Jones (UK), and Tom Browne (UK).

We have compiled all the messages in this document here, for your review:

Please keep your comments coming. We are especially keen to hear about any personal or professional experience you may have in relation to tobacco. Also, we would love to hear more about what is (or isn't) happening in different countries with regard to professional training, public health ediucation and tobacco control. (Thanks again to Jum'atil for describing the situation in Indonesia so well).

Your inputs will be synthesised into a summary document that will help inform future efforts. In particular, as CEO of NextGenU has said in her introductiry message, "This HIFA discussion is especially important to us because tobacco addiction has a massive negative impact on humanity and the planet. We know there are still gaps to be filled in our understanding of the harms of tobacco and how these can be addressed. We hope that forum members can point us to where the greatest needs exist when it comes to education in addiction and mental health so that we can continue to create additional resources to help health professionals treat patients suffering from mental health and substance use disorders."

Here again are the five guiding questions:

1. Do people understand the health, socio-economic and environmental harms of using tobacco products? What matters to them? How can they be better informed?

2. Do health workers have adequate knowledge to prevent and treat tobacco addiction among their patients? What matters to them? How can they be better informed?

3. What is the role of the tobacco industry? What can be done to address misinformation from the tobacco industry?

4. Do public health professionals and policymakers have adequate knowledge to prevent and treat tobacco addiction in their country? What are current national policies and what more can be done to fully implement those policies?

5. What are the pros and cons of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS; vaping) (eg as an aid to stop smoking; as an addictive alternative to smoking among young people)?

and here are two that Miriam has added (feel free to add your own):

6. What are the gaps in education for health professionals related to mental health and substance use disorder, and where are those gaps most pronounced?

7. Are there any gaps in medical, nursing, or other health professional training?

Best wishes, Neil

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: