Globally, tobacco use causes 8 million deaths annually. While nearly 780 million people say they want to quit worldwide, only 30% of individuals have access to the tools and resources to help overcome their addiction. This year, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World No Tobacco Day theme is focused on “Commit to Quit” which promotes and offers various initiatives and digital solutions to support quitting tobacco use.
To better understand how some countries have successfully implemented their own cessation methods, GTSS Academy’s MPOWER stories provide short highlights of evidence-based tobacco control strategies by country. Each MPOWER story is organized by the six MPOWER measures, which are cost-effective and high impact measures, developed by WHO, that help countries reduce demand for tobacco.
Through the MPOWER stories, users can explore how countries have implemented various programs and policies, and also provide key supporting data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). For example, in 2016, India launched a national bilingual mTobaccoCessation programme, which uses mobile technology by providing personalized tobacco cessation advice to tobacco users. Since the launch, over 2 million tobacco users have enrolled. A Ministry of Health and Family Welfare evaluation at the end of the program's first year, covering a sample of more than 12,000 registered users, demonstrated an average quit rate of about 7 percent among both smokers and smokeless tobacco users 6 months after enrollment.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health launched a phone and mobile-centered support service to help Filipino smokers quit tobacco in 2018. Once registered, users set a desired quit date and receive daily text messages. Smokers who want to quit can also call the hotline to talk with counselors from the Lung Center to receive real-time advice and counseling.
WHO urges countries to set up cessation services, such as toll-free quit lines, mobile and digital cessation services, nicotine replacement therapies and other tools that are proven to help people quit. By implementing these strategies, it can help create environments that encourage tobacco cessation by:
To highlight your country’s MPOWER success story, please contact us via [email protected].