Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Policy recommendations for smoking cessation and treatment of tobacco dependence

Despite dissemination and availability of the Mayo Clinic recommendations on smoking cessation and treatment of tobacco dependence, few countries had taken sufficient action. Therefore, in June 2002, the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative organised a meeting to develop ‘Policy Recommendations for Smoking Cessation and Treatment of Tobacco Dependence’ for governments, non-governmental organizations and health professionals interested in making public health gains in the short and medium term. The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation hosted the meeting in Moscow.

The policy recommendations were published in June 2003 and launched during the 12th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Helsinki, Finland.

Summary of the recommendations:

Along with an individual approach (behavioural and/or pharmacological interventions) to treatment of tobacco dependence a supportive environment is needed to encourage tobacco consumers in their attempts to quit. Treatment of tobacco dependence should be part of a comprehensive tobacco-control policy along with measures such as taxation and price policies, advertising restrictions, dissemination of information and establishment of smoke-free public places.

The recommendations propose a broad framework for addressing treatment of tobacco dependence. In this framework, Governments can progressively choose minimal, expanded and core recommendations as they strengthen their resources and capacities.

The recommended framework includes a mix of three main strategies:

  • A public health approach that seeks to change the social climate and promote a supportive environment;
  • A health systems approach that focuses on promoting and integrating clinical best practices (behavioural and pharmacological) which help tobacco-dependent consumers increase their chance of quitting successfully;
  • A surveillance, research and information approach that promotes the exchange of information and knowledge so as to increase awareness of the need to change social norms (Chapter I, Matrix 1, pages 7-10).

WHO believes that independently of priorities and available funding, a country, state/province or municipality/county can pave the way for effective smoking treatment of tobacco dependence.

As countries prepare to develop national policy guidelines for the treatment of tobacco dependence, the international community can help by providing a forum for sharing and distributing information, writing up guidelines, reviewing best practices, raising funds and establishing partnerships.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Supportive Environment
  • Chapter 2: Country Perspectives
  • Chapter 3: Treatment of Tobacco Dependence and Smoking Cessation Methods
  • Chapter 4: Prioritising cessation strategies according to different national circumstances and resource available
  • Chapter 5: Building capacity for smoking cessation and treatment of tobacco dependence
  • Chapter 6: The role of WHO, its partners, and the WHO FCTC Provisions
  • Chapter 7: Selected key resources
  • Chapter 8: Policy Recommendations for Smoking Cessation and Treatment of Tobacco Dependence
  • Annexes

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