Increase in Tobacco Control Policies Worldwide

WHO InfographicA World Health Organization (WHO) report issued yesterday found that about 4.7 billion people—representing 63 percent of the world’s population—are covered by at least one comprehensive tobacco control measure. These measures range from warnings on packs of tobacco to advertising bans to use of no smoking areas.

"Working together, countries can prevent millions of people from dying each year from preventable tobacco-related illness, and save billions of dollars a year in avoidable health care expenditures and productivity losses," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

While this achievement should be celebrated, it’s also important to acknowledge that more work needs to be done as tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death worldwide.

"One in 10 deaths around the world is caused by tobacco,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The progress that’s been made worldwide—and documented throughout this report—shows that it is possible for countries to turn the tide."

As a partner in the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, the CDC Foundation has worked with international agencies to reduce the global death and disease associated with tobacco use. The CDC Foundation supports the efforts of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and WHO as they assist countries in implementing surveys that measure the global burden of tobacco use. These surveys provide vital data that help low- and middle-income countries monitor and evaluate tobacco control interventions and measure progress.

At the CDC Foundation, we look forward to continuing to work with partners to save and improve lives by reducing the burden of tobacco related illnesses and deaths.


Amanda Gailey, MPH, MAT, is a senior program officer for the CDC Foundation.