Published by the World Health Organization, the report discusses the way in which existing policies have made an extraordinary difference during the studied period from the year 2000 to 2010. The team looking into the positive effects the strategies had in over 40 countries all over the world in order to come up with the highly optimistic prediction.
The strategies are bunched under the ‘MPower’ name which collectively covers various initiatives geared toward outlawing promotion and advertising of tobacco, closer monitoring of tobacco use, enhanced warnings about the dangers of smoking, the protection of people from tobacco smoke, offering assistance to those trying to quit and increasing taxes on tobacco products.
A previous study carried out by a team from the WHO estimated that approximately 8.3 million global deaths would occur by 2030 directly as a result of smoking tobacco. The purpose of the latest project was to assess if and how much this figure had changed in the meantime so as to see what was working and make a more accurate projection for the longer-term future.
“These findings demonstrate the magnitude of the actions already taken by countries and underscore the potential for millions of additional lives to be saved with continued adoption of MPower policies,” the team revealed.
The latest round of figures shared by the WHO points to an impressive 2.5 million fatalities being avoided by outlawing public smoking, along with a massive 3.5 million deaths averted by making cigarettes more expensive via taxation increases. In addition, the report claims that 1.4 million lives could be saved by reinforcing health warnings, reducing advertising and offering more assistance to smokers trying to quit.
All in all, the researchers see an incredible 14.8 million deaths being prevented by 2050.
“In addition to some 7.4 million lives saved, the tobacco control policies we examined can lead to other health benefits, such as fewer adverse birth outcomes related to maternal smoking, including low birth weight, and reduced health-care costs and less loss of productivity due to less smoking-related disease,” according to David Levy who led the study.