Key facts and findings relating to the MPOWER package
Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
- Good monitoring tracks the extent and evolution of the epidemic and indicates how best to tailor policies.
- Currently, half of countries – two in three in the developing world – do not have even minimal information about tobacco use.
Protect people from tobacco smoke
- Every person has a right to breathe air free of tobacco smoke. In addition to protecting the health of non-smokers, smoke-free environments encourage smokers to quit.
- Evidence from pioneering countries shows that smoke-free laws do not harm businesses and are popular with the public.
- Permitting smoking in designated areas undermines the benefit of smoke-free environments.
- Only 5% of the global population is protected by comprehensive national smoke-free legislation.
Offer help to quit tobacco use
- Among smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco, three out of four want to quit. Counseling and medication can double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will succeed.
- National comprehensive services supporting cessation are available only in 9 countries, representing 5% of the world population.
Warn about the dangers of tobacco use
- Relatively few tobacco users fully grasp the health dangers. Hard-hitting anti-tobacco ads and graphic pack warnings reduce the number of children who begin smoking and increase the number of smokers who quit.
- Pictures are more powerful deterrents than words on tobacco packaging warnings, but only 15 countries, representing 6% of the world’s population, mandate pictorial warnings.
- Just five countries, with 4% of the world's population, meet the highest standards for pack warnings.
Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
- Widespread advertising falsely associates tobacco with desirable qualities.
- Studies have found that advertising bans can lower tobacco consumption.
- Only 5% of the world’s population currently lives in countries with comprehensive national bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
- About half the children of the world live in countries that do not ban free distribution of tobacco products.
Raise taxes on tobacco
- Tobacco taxes are the most effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among young people and the poor.
- Increasing tobacco taxes by 10% generally decreases tobacco consumption by 4% in high-income countries and by about 8% in low- and middle-income countries.
- Tobacco tax increases also increase government revenues.
- Only four countries, representing 2% of the world's population have tax rates greater than 75% of the retail price.
- In countries with available information, tobacco tax revenues are more than 500 times higher than spending on tobacco control. In low- and middle-income countries, tobacco tax revenues are more than 9000 and 4000 times higher than spending on tobacco control, respectively.