Tobacco (67) Q4. Do public health professionals and policymakers have adequate knowledge to prevent and treat tobacco addiction in their country? (3)

22 March, 2023

In a previous message Eduardo Bianco (Uruguay) noted: "To address the globalization of the tobacco epidemic, WHO promoted the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an international legally binding treaty that currently covers 90% of the world´s population. This treaty lays out evidence-based demand and supply reduction strategies that resulted in measurable progress: global cigarette sales have been declining since 2012 despite overall population growth... But progress is being slower than expected, due to the uneven application of FCTC provisions between countries and regions. Largely due to the great influence of the tobacco industry on decision-maker"

Eduardo and others, please can you say a bit more baout the reasons for slow implementation, or non-implementation of the FCTC at national level?

You note that this is primarily due to the tobacco industry. What are the main methods that the tobacco industry are using to block progress?

In terms of drivers, how well is the FCTC bring commuicated to policymakers? Do policymakers fully understand the social, health and economic costs of tobacco? How easy (or hard) is it for national policymakers to use the FCTC guidance for national policymaking?

Is it a problem of political will or competing priorities or (lack of?) public perssure?

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: