Worldwide, smoking rates have declined which has saved an estimated 22 million lives.
Between 2008 and 2014, more than 53 million people in 88 countries stopped smoking due to tobacco control measures, which means that more than 22 million smoking-related deaths have been averted, say researchers at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
These conclusions, published online today in Tobacco Control, updates their 2013 landmark study that found tobacco control measures undertaken by 41 countries between 2007-2010 had prevented 7.4 smoking-related million deaths.
“Our findings show the enormous and continuing potential to saving millions of lives by implementing tobacco control policies that have been proven to work,” says lead author David Levy, PhD, professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi. “These new findings can help those countries — more than half of the 196 total who have not yet undertaken life-saving tobacco control measures — better understand the powerful public health impact they offer,” he says.
This continuing analysis evaluates the mounting success of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) by estimating deaths averted as a marker of policy impact. The WHO FCTC aims to reduce smoking by implementing evidence-based tobacco control measures. The convention came into force in 2005. As of January 1, 2015, 186 participating countries or entities (representing 95.8 percent of the world’s population) have ratified the WHO FCTC. Ten remaining countries/entities do not participate, including the United States. At least 88 of the ratifying countries have adopted at least one of the measures to reduce smoking.
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