Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Tobacco control for specific populations

Woman smoking, Lao People's Democratic Republic (2008)
WHO/J. Holmes

Evidence-based tobacco control measures that are targeted to the general population, including many of those contained in the MPOWER package, are generally a cost-effective way to reduce tobacco use. However, to ensure maximum impact, it is often necessary to consider the needs of specific populations. In particular, it is important to consider particular characteristics within certain groups that may lead them to initiate and continue to use tobacco, as well as the most effective interventions to promote cessation.

For example, since most tobacco use starts before the age of 18, it is important to consider how specific policies and strategies will impact youth initiation. In many countries, women are increasingly targeted by the tobacco industry; therefore, it is important to ensure that particular strategies take into account gender differences when designing policies, anti-tobacco messages and other interventions.

In many countries, tobacco takes a disproportionate toll on certain communities and groups, such as native populations, as well as people from low socio-economic classes. People in these groups may have specific tobacco-related health risks, and these also need to be considered in the design of tobacco control programmes and strategies.

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