Building Momentum for Tobacco Control in the Western Pacific Region

Authors

1 Route de Lausanne 341, Switzerland.

2 World Health Organization, Switzerland.

Abstract

The tobacco epidemic is a significant global public health threat, killing more than eight million people a year around the world. Although the average rate of tobacco use in the Western Pacific Region (WPR) is declining over time in accordance with global trends, the region is experiencing the slowest decline of all six WHO regions. Around 12% of boys aged 13-15 and 4% of girls in the same age group are current tobacco users in WPR. The fact that nearly six million children use tobacco products at the young age of 13-15 is cause for concern. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting many countries globally, now is an opportune time to reduce tobacco use. Tobacco data collection, which is the focus of this special supplement, plays a key role in understanding the magnitude, patterns, determinants and consequences of tobacco use and exposure. Good monitoring tracks the extent and character of the tobacco epidemic and indicates how best to tailor policies. The findings and lessons from this special supplement provide a welcome contribution to the progress made in global tobacco control and a testament to the efforts and dedication of countries across the Western Pacific Region to fighting the tobacco epidemic.

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