The 17th edition of the global “World Conference on tobacco or health” will be taking place in Cape Town this year. For the occasion, 3000 experts, scientific researchers, and policy-makers will be getting together to promote an anti-smoking agenda. While Big Tobacco remains a force to be reckoned with, there are effective measures that we can take to try and eradicate smoking.
The objective of the event taking place in South-Africa this week is to take stock of recent research. Anti-smoking policies will be discussed, alongside methods to limit the development of the tobacco industry. The poorest countries are often those who are preyed on by tobacco companies via aggressive marketing campaigns.
Smoking-related cancers cause 7 million deaths across the world every year according to the WHO. Currently, there are approximately one billion smokers on the planet. The health costs associated with smoking cessation are estimated at 1000 billion dollars every year.
New approaches to marketing cigarettes
The conference also shed light on measures governments can implement to limit tobacco consumption. Raising cigarette prices is a widely-accepted policy to deal with the issue. Neutral packaging, as in France, Australia, and Canada, has also shown promise.
Certain cities have banned smoking in all public places, such as New York. Others may adopt this policy in the coming months. When it comes to e-cigarettes, that will obviously be addressed during the 3-day event, there remains a big question mark.
Opinions diverge and conflict on the topic of vaping and associated risks and benefits. An invaluable smoking-cessation tool for some, e-cigs are considered gateway drugs to traditional cigarettes for others.