UW-CTRI Director Dr. Michael Fiore teamed with other experts, led by Dr. Martin Raw, to create a plan of action to help countries implement tobacco-control strategies, to be published in the journal Addiction.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that only a few countries across the globe have adequate access to health care interventions to help them quit tobacco use. The Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, created under the guidance of WHO, includes Article 14 on tobacco cessation. The Framework is one of the most widely supported of all United Nations treaties, ratified by 179 countries representing 90% of the world’s population.
It recommends evidence-based treatment for patients who use tobacco.
The new plan of action on tobacco has been endorsed by more than 50 experts.
The authors suggest countries enact six core measures immediately:
- Conduct a national situation analysis, as recommended in the Article 14 guidelines.
- Develop and implement evidence-based national cessation guidelines.
- Mandate recording tobacco use of all patients in all medical notes.
- Train health care workers to record tobacco use and give brief advice.
- Help health care workers to quit tobacco use.
- Integrate brief advice to all tobacco users into the healthcare system.
As resources become available, the authors recommend these additional measures:
- Offer mobile phone text messaging support and other evidence-based web support (very low cost and accessible).
- Make evidence-based affordable cessation medicines and less harmful forms of nicotine more available.
- Offer evidence-based telephone quitlines and put the number on pack warnings.
- Expand training to include other health care workers, for example, village health workers.
- Offer specialist face-to-face cessation support.
- Establish mass communication and education programs that encourage cessation and promote cessation support.