WHO publish global tobacco epidemic report

03 August 2021

Article: 55/3107

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published its eighth report on the global tobacco epidemic, tracking the progress made by countries in tobacco control since 2008 and, for the first time, presenting data on electric nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), such as e-cigarettes. 

The WHO’s MPOWER package consists of six policies, with the aim of supporting the fight against the tobacco epidemic, these being to: 

  • monitor tobacco use and prevention policies 
  • protect people from tobacco smoke 
  • offer help to quit tobacco use 
  • warn about the dangers of tobacco 
  • enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship 
  • raise taxes on tobacco 

In 2021, 75% of countries and 5.3 billion people are covered by at least one MPOWER measure, more than four times the number who were covered in 2007. However, 49 countries remain without any measures in place at all.

The WHO report that 84 countries lack safeguards to protect from unregulated proliferation of ENDS, and recommend that governments implement regulations to stop non-smokers from starting to use them, in order to prevent the renormalisation of smoking in the community, and to protect future generations. 

Source: WHO, 27 July 2021