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MPOWERWHO released six MPOWER measures in 2008 to which are proven to work and not expensive to counter the global epidemic of tobacco. With MPOWER, countries can protect their people’s health and go far towards meeting their commitments under the WHO FCTC.

MPOWER denotes :
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 

Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
Data are necessary to implement and evaluate effective tobacco control policies. Only through accurate measurement of the tobacco epidemic and of the interventions to control it can those interventions be effectively managed and improved.

 

Good monitoring provides policymakers with information about the extent of the epidemic in a country and how to tailor policies to the needs of different groups. Disseminating the information broadly and effectively gives all stakeholders a clearer picture of the epidemic and provides advocates for tobacco control with important evidence to bolster the case for stronger policies.

Protect people from tobacco smoke
All people have a right to breathe clean air. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke, which causes heart disease, cancer and many other diseases. Even brief exposure can cause serious damage. Smoke-free legislation is popular wherever it is enacted, and these laws do not harm businesses. 

 

Any country, regardless of income level, can implement effective smoke-free legislation. Only a total ban on smoking in public places, including all indoor workplaces, protects people from the harms of second-hand smoke, helps smokers quit and reduces youth smoking. Guidelines to article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control help countries know exactly what to do to protect their people from second-hand smoke.

Offer help to quit tobacco use

Over one billion smokers worldwide who are addicted to tobacco are victims of the tobacco epidemic. When informed of the risks, most tobacco users want to quit, but few get help and support to overcome their dependence. 
 

Health-care systems have primary responsibility for treating tobacco dependence. Programmes should include tobacco cessation advice incorporated into primary health-care services, easily accessible and free telephone help lines (known as quit lines), and access to low-cost medicines. All health-care workers should become advocates for tobacco control. Governments can use some tobacco tax revenues to help tobacco users free themselves from addiction.

Warn about the dangers of tobacco
Few tobacco users understand the full extent of their health risk. Health warnings on tobacco packaging reach all smokers and cost governments nothing.

 

According to article 11 of the WHO FCTC, warnings should appear on both the front and back of the packaging and be large and clear and describe specific illnesses caused by tobacco. Pictures of disease have a greater impact than words alone. In addition, anti-tobacco advertisements can publicise tobacco’s dangers. Use of graphic images demonstrating the harm of tobacco use can be especially effective in convincing users to quit.

Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship

The tobacco industry spends tens of billions of dollars worldwide each year on advertising, promotion and sponsorship. A total ban on direct and indirect advertising, promotion and sponsorship, as provided in guidelines to article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, can substantially reduce tobacco consumption and protect people, particularly youths, from industry marketing tactics. To be effective, bans must be complete and apply to all marketing categories. Otherwise, the industry merely redirects resources to non regulated marketing channels.

Raise taxes on tobacco
Increasing the price of tobacco through higher taxes is the single most effective way to encourage tobacco users to quit and prevent children from starting to smoke.
Taxes on all cigarette brands should be set at the same rate to prevent substitution in consumption.
 
Taxes need to be increased regularly to correct for inflation and consumer purchasing power. Tobacco taxes are generally well accepted by the public and raise government revenues. Allocating tax revenues for tobacco control and other important health and social programmes further increases their popularity.

Source: World Health Organization
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