Vejpy and medical aid: WHO has told about problems of struggle against smoking in Russia
The growth in the consumption of electronic cigarettes among Russians, especially young people, the introduction of excise taxes on tobacco products and the medical support of those who want to quit smoking, are today topical issues of the anti-smoking campaign in Russia, said Olga Manukhina, WHO tobacco control specialist in Russia a seminar organized by WHO.
Seven million lives take tobacco
WHO estimates that more than 7 million people die of tobacco from the world each year, of which 6 million people are tobacco users, and about 900,000 are those exposed to tobacco smoke. For example, the number of deaths from HIV diseases and malaria is much lower, while tobacco use is a completely preventable cause of death, the expert notes.
An important document that is a response to the global smoking epidemic is the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). This is really one of the most effective legal documents. It came into force in 2005, its signatories are 181 states. The measures of the agreement cover almost 90% of the population, says Olga Manukhina.
Among the main measures – the ban on advertising on tobacco products and smoking in public places, proposals for the refusal of tobacco, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, the tax on tobacco products. Of course, these measures are not applied equally everywhere, but their results are already palpable – they really reduce the consumption of tobacco. If the trend continues, then in the 21st century, the number of deaths due to smoking can be reduced to 1 million cases, the expert believes.
If we talk in general about tobacco consumption in the European Region, we have nothing to be proud of here – the level is quite high, about 27%, and a very high level of smoking among women, experts say. In Russia, according to WHO, now more than 30% of the population and almost 50% of men smoke. But there is also good news – in Russia the consumption of tobacco really decreases, and influenced this process, including the adoption of an anti-tobacco law and the ban on tobacco advertising.
Vejpy, excises and medical aid
“If we talk about the main problems in Russia, we are now worried about the growth in the consumption of electronic cigarettes. This trend is especially noticeable among young people. Often, non-smoking young people, trying electronic cigarettes, later switches to traditional cigarettes, “says Olga Manukhina. – The problem is that now we do not have enough arguments to come forward with a tough stance, for example, with their prohibition. Scientific research takes a long time. But the results that we have received say that electronic cigarettes are harmful. Perhaps less harmful than conventional cigarettes, but still harmful, this is indicated, including the presence of formaldehyde in them. “
“This is a new move by tobacco manufacturers. Now a glamorous image of these devices is created. This is an opportunity to advertise tobacco products, albeit indirectly. This is a cunning way of saving the tobacco industry, they do not want their own death, “says Joao Breda, head of the European Office for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases and Control.
Those who use electronic cigarettes are much more likely not to give up cigarettes. “You are no longer on an equal footing with those who really want to quit,” notes Joao Breda.
Another urgent issue for Russia is the recommendations of medical workers to those people who want to quit smoking. Doctors themselves rarely recommend this, and rarely talk about those methods that can really help to stop smoking, say WHO experts. Smokers with a severe degree of dependence can not quit smoking on their own, they need medical help, says WHO expert on tobacco control in Russia.
Plus, drugs that could get rid of addiction are not included in the list of vital. Therefore, for people who want to get rid of smoking, this is an additional financial burden, the expert continues. In addition, the treatment process is very lengthy, takes several months, and many patients may get lost on this path without the support of doctors.
It is also important for Russia to raise excise taxes on tobacco products, experts say WHO. But this issue goes beyond the borders of the Russian Federation, since the country belongs to EURASEC and a joint solution is needed. Therefore, the topic of harmonization of excise taxes is quite complicated.
On the whole, disinformation (and insufficient information about the dangers of smoking), denial or undermining of evidence of harm, the lobby of tobacco companies that are fighting for their buyer, hinder the promotion of quitting.
12 euros for a pack of cigarettes
In Ireland, for which the topic of tobacco is also relevant, for example, want in 2025 is completely free the country from smoking, says the head of the Department of Public Relations of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Siobhan Tvorton ( Siobhan Creaton ).
The ban on advertising of tobacco products has already significantly changed the picture, plus the increase in prices for cigarettes – a pack on average will cost 10-13 euros. For example, in recent years, the number of smokers in Ireland has declined from 22% to 18%.
Also in Ireland there is a mobile application that helps to quit smokers to get rid of addiction – gives recommendations and step by step instruction. Actively conducted advertising and information campaigns, telling how to quit smoking.
Propaganda of physical activity plays a huge role. Even in the weather forecasts tell about when it is convenient to run in the parks and in what. In addition, now in Ireland is actively developing velokultura. For example, the number of people who are cycling daily in Dublin has doubled in recent times to 95,000 people.
Returning to World Refugee Day: WHO’s main goal is to reduce the number of deaths provoked by tobacco consumption to a minimum, as well as to counter all kinds of lobbies. In addition, it is also important to raise people’s awareness – they need to be aware of the consequences of smoking and understand on what they are going to, picking up a cigarette. It is necessary to discredit tobacco consumption. Smoking should be unfashionable and wrong, experts say.
WHO recalls that tobacco in the long run kills half of its users. In this case, 10 years after you quit smoking, the risk of cancer is reduced by half compared to the risk to the smoker. And within a year after you abandoned the addiction, the risk of coronary heart disease is also halved compared to the risk to the smoker. After 5-15 years after quitting smoking, the risk of stroke decreases to a level of risk for a non-smoker.