Public Health Threat of Tobacco and Substance Use in Asia: An Introduction to the Theme Issue

J Psychoactive Drugs. Jan-Mar 2020;52(1):1-4. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2020.1717686. Epub 2020 Jan 22.


Tobacco and substance use is a great public health concern in Asia. The prevalence of tobacco smoking, while steadily declined in Western countries over past few decades, has increased in many regions of Asia, especially in low- and middle-income countries. And high-income countries in the region have reported rapid growth rates in e-cigarette use in recent years. Furthermore, illicit drugs, specially cannabis, amphetamines, and opioids, have begun to threaten the health of the people in the region like never before. To better understand the landscape of the two primary public health concerns in Asia, tobacco and substance use, this special issue examines cigarette/e-cigarette use and tobacco control policies for five selected countries (Singapore, China, South Korea, Japan, and Laos People's Democratic Republic); and explores substance use related issues focused on prevention, influencing factors, and policies of three countries (Hon Kong, Malaysia, and India). The research, policy, and clinical implications from this issue will contribute to mitigating the global burden of tobacco and substance use-related public health issues in Asia.

Keywords: Asia; Tobacco use; public health; substance use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Public Health*
  • Public Policy
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult