Progress in tobacco control

Health Policy. 2009 Jul;91 Suppl 1:S3-14. doi: 10.1016/S0168-8510(09)70003-X.


Aim: To present the Tobacco Control interventions which are currently accepted as effective.

Methods: Review the available regulatory strategy laid down in the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control and explore the basis for the Treaty and the appropriateness of the response with particular reference to Europe.

Results: An evidence-based approach was built up over some sixty years. At first a slow revelation of the catastrophic health effects of smoking is revealed. Then a reluctance to see tobacco addiction as a disease or even as an addiction delays attempts to develop active treatments. A powerful, corrupt industry demanding to be treated as normal delays effective interventions to control demand or supply.

Discussion: The pace of Tobacco Control is too slow. An effective FCTC would still see millions of unnecessary premature deaths in this century. Most deaths will not be in the west where the true effects of this industry are accepted and where mechanisms to combat the worst abuses of industrial power exist. They will occur in the developing world. The FCTC provisions must be achieved and then some. It would be foolish to rely on it alone especially on its approach to control of supply. The role of the treatment of tobacco dependence may be underrated in Tobacco Control. In many other diseases, whether infections such as tuberculosis or lifestyle related such as hypertension, the role and availability of effective treatments often provides the catalyst to drive the social changes necessary to lead to commitment to effective change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Public Policy
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Tobacco Industry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tobacco Use Cessation*