The Pan American Health Organization reported on Monday that around 900 million people in 35 countries in the Americas, 96% of the population, have at least one of the six tobacco control measures recommended by the World Health Organization, 50% more than those registered in 2007.
26 of the 35 countries in the region have reached the maximum level of implementation of at least one of these orders, but in others, such as the increase in tobacco taxes, they have made slow progress, and nine countries have not yet adopted any measures , is indicated in the Report on tobacco control for the Region of the Americas 2022.
Progress in the application of the six standards, known as MPOWER and established by the World Health Organization in 2008, which went from representing 28% of the region’s population in 2000 to 16, contributed to reducing the number of users. 3% in 2020, the second lowest figure in the world at that level.
In addition to this achievement, South America became in 2020 the first subregion of the American continent where smoking is absolutely prohibited in closed public places, at work and on public transportation.
The main risk factor is tobacco consumption and six of the eight main causes of death in the world, as well as for the four most preventable and prevalent non-communicable diseases: cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory conditions.
The director of the Organization’s Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health stated, “tobacco causes almost a million deaths annually in the region and is the only legal consumer product that kills up to half of those who consume it.”
Anselm Hennis stressed that “in the face of this enormous threat, the response must be equally aggressive. The control measures work and we must move more quickly in the application of all of them.”
Electronic cigarettes are a new threat.
The mode of use of electronic cigarettes, a product that may contain nicotine, a study also warns about the high availability and accessibility of new products and warns about the misleading claims used by the tobacco industry to win over consumers and enter new markets.
The entity recommends that governments establish regulations that prevent non-smokers from beginning to use these products, that prevent tobacco consumption from returning to normal in society, and that protect future generations.
Five of those nations and thirteen others have taken partial steps to ban their use, limit their advertising, promotion and sponsorship, or require warnings on their packaging. 7 countries in the Americas prohibit the sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems. On the contrary, 15 do not impose any type of regulatory scheme. Published by The Tampa Herald, news and information agency.