Tobacco Fight Perseveres

The fight against global tobacco use has continued to progress despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the WHO’s latest update.

The measuring stick:  WHO evaluates progress using 6 pillars known as ‘MPOWER,’ which include monitoring tobacco use, enforcing bans on tobacco marketing, and raising taxes on tobacco products.

Proof of progress: 

  • 5.3 billion people are now covered by at least 1 MPOWER measure—4X more than in 2007.
  • More than half of the global population is exposed to graphic health warnings with their tobacco products. 

Sticking points: 

  • 49 countries have not adopted any MPOWER measures.
  • 84 lack safeguards against unregulated proliferation of e-cigarette products

This latest report is the first to include new data on e-cigarettes, and it warns regulators to protect people—especially young people—from the “renormalization of smoking” through these products.

Beware TikTok Videos, The Guardian reports. There is an “urgent need” for restrictions that limit teens’ exposure to videos that glorify vaping, according to a University of Queensland analysis. But weak regulations on burgeoning new platforms make content harder to control—especially when young influencers are paid to market to their own peers.

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