Global tobacco trends report WHO 16 January 2024
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3:13
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MP4
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236.9 MB

Edited News | WHO

Global tobacco trends report WHO 16 January 2024

The UN health agency announced today (16 January) at the launch of the latest Global tobacco trends report that the total number of adult tobacco users worldwide has decreased.  

“The good news is that we have 1.25 billion people still smoking. That is the last figure we have from the Global trends report that we're releasing today,” said Dr. Rüdiger Krech, Director of Health Promotion at the World Health Organization (WHO) during the report launch at the UN in Geneva.  “But that also means that we have 19 million less smokers than we had two years ago. That is the first time that we see such a decline.”

This trend shows a continued decline in tobacco use rates globally, with about one in five adults worldwide consuming tobacco in 2022, down from one in three in 2000.

Currently, the fastest decreases in tobacco use are happening in the lower middle-income group of countries whereas the highest prevalence of tobacco users is in the WHO South-East Asian region, however with fast falling rates.

The WHO region which currently has the lowest tobacco use prevalence is the African Region, which has already decreased from an average of 18 per cent in 2000 to under 10 per cent in 2022.

According to Dr. Krech, “the region that is a bit of a problem is the European region where especially women are […] on the increase in some parts, in some countries, or at very high levels still of tobacco users.”

WHO urges countries to continue putting in place tobacco control policies and continue to fight against tobacco industry interference.

The report estimates that there are at least 37 million children aged 13-15 currently using some form of tobacco, and many countries have found alarming levels of e-cigarette use among adolescents as well. There is a clear need for policies that restrict advertising to young people, restrict access and reduce exposure to tobacco and nicotine products.

“There's a few countries who have banned e-cigarettes, which we welcome,” said Dr. Krech. “If you have not banned it, you should take very strong regulatory measures, meaning that you need to ensure that children do not get access to e-cigarettes.”

He added that “children as young as eight years old […] actually use e-cigarettes or vape. This is, I believe, criminal, but they do. And in many countries these use of e-cigarettes and vaping are not yet regulated.”

Dr. Krech mentioned that “we have teachers calling us, especially in the UK, where you saw a 150 per cent increase in the last three years of uptake of e-cigarettes by children. So, they call us to say children cannot stay a whole 45-minute lesson anymore because they need to step out to get e-cigarettes.”

Since most of the e-cigarettes and vapes are purchased through internet, it would be important, according to the WHO, to ensure that these devices are no longer available to children.

All the different kind of flavors offered for vaping are more attractive to children and less to older adults. “You have thousands of flavors, each of these flavors contain different chemicals,” said WHO’s Dr. Krech. “So the toxicity of these liquids, if you inhale them, if you're not swallowing them, but you inhale them, is completely different. So, the tactics of the tobacco industry is to swamp the market.”

For those who use vaping to quit smoking, it should be regulated as medicine where you get it through a pharmacy with a prescription for it, said Dr. Krech.

-ends-

STORY: WHO Global tobacco trends report

TRT: 3:13”

SOURCE: UNTV CH 

RESTRICTIONS: NONE 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS 

ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 

DATELINE: 16 January 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND 

  1. Exterior medium shot: UN flag alley  
  2. Wide shot: speakers at the press conference 
  3. SOUNDBITE (English) – Dr. Rüdiger Krech, Director of Health Promotion WHO: “The good news is that we have 1.25 billion people still smoking. That is the last figure we have from the Global trends report that we're releasing today. But that also means that we have 19 million less smokers than we had two years ago. That is the first time that we see such a decline.”
  4. Wide shot: press room with journalists and speakers at the podium
  5. SOUNDBITE (English) – Dr. Rüdiger Krech, Director of Health Promotion WHO:There's a few countries who have banned e-cigarettes, which we welcome. If you have not banned it, you should take very strong regulatory measures, meaning that you need to ensure that children do not get access to e-cigarettes.”
  6. Medium shot: press room with journalists and speakers at the podium
  7. SOUNDBITE (English) – Dr. Rüdiger Krech, Director of Health Promotion WHO: “We have seen this for instance in what they call novel products on e-cigarettes and vaping, where they actually try to get our children as young as eight years old to actually use e-cigarettes or vapers. This is, I believe, criminal, but they do. And in many countries these use of e-cigarettes and vaping are not yet regulated.”
  8. Medium shot: press room with journalists
  9. SOUNDBITE (English) – Dr. Rüdiger Krech, Director of Health Promotion WHO: “The region that is a bit of a problem is the European region where especially women are, you know, on the increase in some parts, in some countries, or at very high levels still of tobacco users.”
  10. Wide shot: press room with journalists and speakers at the podium
  11. SOUNDBITE (English) – Dr. Rüdiger Krech, Director of Health Promotion WHO: “I find this and I'm not understandable how you could do this, as you know, that you're hooking children to nicotine, which is highly addictive. So, we have teachers calling us, especially in the U.K., where you saw a 150 per cent increase in the last three years of uptake of e-cigarettes by children. So they call us to say children cannot stay a whole 45 minute lesson anymore because they need to step out to get, you know, e-cigarettes.”
  12. Wide shot: Camera people with conferencing staff
  13. SOUNDBITE (English) – Dr. Rüdiger Krech, Director of Health Promotion WHO: “You have thousands of flavors. Each of these flavors contain different chemicals. So the toxicity of these liquids, if you inhale them, if you're not swallowing them, but you inhale them, is completely different. So the tactics of the tobacco industry is to swamp the market.”
  14. Wide shot: press briefing room with journalists
  15. Wide shot: press briefing room with journalists and speakers at the podium


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