To Reduce Tobacco Use Further, Governments Must Reject Tobacco Industry Participation In Policy

New York, (December 19, 2019) — Global tobacco industry watchdog STOP (Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products) welcomes a new report published today by the World Health Organization, which projects that the number of males using tobacco has declined for the first time globally. The following is a statement from Gan Quan, Director of Tobacco Control at the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and a partner in STOP:

“The data is clear: tobacco use falls when governments implement policies that are proven to encourage quitting and deter youth from starting to use tobacco. The problem is that the tobacco industry continues to undermine such measures all over the world and to market their products aggressively.

As our Crooked Nine report explains, the tobacco industry continues to spend billions of dollars on lobbying and public relations, funding misleading research to counter independent studies, and pursuing baseless litigation. Tobacco multinationals are launching new products and expanding cigarette production in countries and regions with weaker regulations.

Put very simply: governments can save more lives more quickly if they don’t let tobacco companies meddle in health policy. Yet, according to the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index, only seven national governments completely exclude the industry. This is despite the fact that exclusion is required by an international treaty most countries have signed. Recommendations such as ensuring transparency and firewalling government officials from tobacco representatives can make a huge difference in making these positive projections a reality.”

STOP’s Crooked Nine report lists the tactics tobacco companies use to meddle in health policy around the world and the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index, published in October, scored more than 30 governments on their efforts to protect health policy from industry meddling.

Please contact the STOP press office for more information or to speak to a STOP spokesperson.

Background
According to the WHO Global Report on Trends in Prevalence of Tobacco Use 2000-2025, Third Edition, overall global tobacco use has fallen by approximately 60 million people since 2000, from 1.397 billion to 1.337 billion in 2018. Males account for 82 percent of the world’s current 1.337 billion tobacco users. WHO’s analysis shows that the number of male tobacco users has stopped growing and is projected to decline. By 2020, WHO projects there will be 10 million fewer tobacco users, male and female, compared to 2018, and another 27 million less by 2025, amounting to 1.299 billion. Only 32 countries are currently on track to reach the target agreed by governments of reducing tobacco use by 30 percent by 2025.


About STOP (Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products)

STOP is a global tobacco industry watchdog whose mission is to expose the tobacco industry strategies and tactics that undermine public health. STOP is a partnership between The Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath, The Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, and Vital Strategies. Learn more at exposetobacco.org.

Read WHO Report