World Health organisation (WHO) on 7 July 2015 released the Global Tobacco Epidemic Report 2015. The focus of the report is on R of MPOWER measure which stands for Raise taxes on tobacco.
According to the report, there has been notable progress in global tobacco control since the publication of Global Tobacco Epidemic Report 2013.
The global population covered by at least one MPOWER measure at the highest level has increased from 2.3 billion to 2.8 billion, which is an increase of half a billion people that constitutes 7% of the world’s population.
• More than half of the world’s countries, with 40% of the world’s population have implemented at least one MPOWER measure at the highest level of achievement.
• The number of countries implementing at least one MPOWER measure at the highest level increase from 92 in 2012 to 103 in 2014.
• A total of 49 countries with nearly 20% of the world’s population are covered by two or more MPOWER measures at the highest level, tripling the number of people protected by at least two fully implemented tobacco control measures to 1.4 billion people since 2007.
• countries, five of which are low- and middle-income, have implemented four or more MPOWER measures at the highest level.
• Six countries (four of which are low and middle-income countries with more than 4% of the world’s population, viz., 300 million + people), are only one step away from having all MPOWER measures in place at the highest level.
• 5 countries with a combined population of 187 million people, (Chile, Jamaica, Madagascar, Russian Federation and Suriname) implemented a comprehensive smoke-free law covering all indoor public places and workplaces.
• 7 countries (Kiribati, Nepal, Russian Federation, Suriname, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Yemen) introduced a complete ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) activities, thus protecting an additional 209 million people from exposure to TAPS.
• 6 countries implemented appropriate cessation services. The net gain for offering assistance to quit was five countries and 173 million people.
• Twelve countries with a combined population of 370 million people (Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Fiji, Jamaica, Namibia, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Vanuatu and Viet Nam) implemented large graphic pack warnings.
• Seven countries (Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kiribati, New Zealand, Romania and Seychelles) raised taxes on cigarettes to more than 75% of the retail price. However, the net gain was only two countries and 154 million people as four countries did not maintain sufficiently high taxes after 2012, and one country did not provide data.
Report on R measure of MPOWER
• Raising tobacco taxes to more than 75% of the retail price is among the most effective and cost-effective tobacco control interventions.
• Calling for urgent need to give attention to R measure of MPOWER, the report has deplored the fact that only a few countries have increased tobacco taxes to best practice level.
• In 2014, only one in 10 of the world’s people living in 33 countries with tobacco taxes of more than 75% of the cigarette retail price have implemented it at the highest level
• More than 80% of countries have no tobacco taxation in place at the highest level of achievement.
• Further, the report deplores the fact that R measure has seen the least improvement since WHO started assessing these data through MPOWER measure in 2007.
Report on India
• In India the tobacco consumption has increased with increase in purchasing power. This is despite the fact that India has raised taxes on tobacco products thus, showing ineffectiveness of tax increase on tobacco consumption.
• Cigarettes became less affordable between 2008 and 2014 in several countries. But in case of India, the cigarettes between this period became more affordable on account of rise in real income offsetting the increase in taxes
• India is among the highest achieving countries in 2014 wherein mass-media campaigns against tobacco have been effective.
• The complex tax structure in India has made the implementation of MPOWER measure less effective.
What is MPOWER measure?
MPOWER measure is an acronym of measures that was introduced in 2008 by the WHO to assist Parties in meeting some of their WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) obligations that came into force on 27 February 2005.
M: Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
P: Protect people from tobacco smoke
O: Offer help to quit tobacco use
W: Warn about the dangers of tobacco
E: Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
R: Raise taxes on tobacco
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