Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

WHO global report on trends in tobacco smoking 2000-2025

Introduction

Tobacco is the only legal drug that kills many of its users when used exactly as intended by manufacturers. WHO has estimated that tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) is currently responsible for the death of about six million people across the world each year with many of these deaths occurring prematurely. This total includes about 600,000 people are also estimated to die from the effects of second-hand smoke. Although often associated with ill-health, disability and death from noncommunicable chronic diseases, tobacco smoking is also associated with an increased risk of death from communicable diseases.

Under a UN mandate to address four noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), the World Health Assembly established in 2013 a global voluntary tobacco target to help reduce prevent premature avoidable mortality from NCDs. The agreed global tobacco target is a 30% relative reduction in prevalence of current tobacco use in persons aged 15+ years.

The setting of this target not only provides a context for the development of policies and programs of actions to attain the target, it also provides an opportunity for policy makers to monitor progress towards achievement of the target over time.