People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
A package of tools created to assist countries that are developing or refining support for people who are trying to stop using tobacco is now online.
Article 14 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is devoted to tobacco cessation. Following the adoption of Article 14 guidelines in 2010, many countries began developing (or further developing) their support for cessation.
The guidelines suggest what a national cessation support system should include, how it should be placed in the context of policies that drive demand for treatment, and what to start with, given limited resources.
A Bloomberg-funded project to develop and test tools to help countries analyse, plan, and implement cessation support is nearing completion, and the tools developed have been posted online. Directed by Martin Raw, the project worked with countries including Uruguay, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and South Africa.
The project method is to work with government officials and key civil society stakeholders, who complete a National Situation Analysis (NSA). The NSA questionnaires are analysed and a summary prepared, with suggestions for possible next steps. This summary is discussed by key stakeholders, usually in several face-to-face meetings.
The outcome of these meetings is agreement on next steps. Support in implementing next steps is offered if desired. The approach is based on the underlying philosophy of the Article 14 guidelines: to think strategically, use as far as possible existing infrastructure, and prioritise approaches that are broad reach, accessible and affordable.
The tools are available here. They are:
- National Situation Analysis (NSA). This is a checklist to analyse a country's tobacco control situation, including cessation support. It covers what tobacco control policies exist, their impact on demand for cessation treatment, what cessation measures are in place, what cessation measures are needed, what resources are available.
- Effectiveness and Affordability Review (EAR). A concise summary of the cessation evidence, written by cessation scientists, which presents data on efficacy, real world effectiveness, and affordability. Countries are encouraged to use this review and not re-review the literature, a process that is time consuming and can be expensive.
- Affordability Calculator. An excel spreadsheet into which countries can input national data, producing an estimate of affordability of an intervention, for use by government officials developing, and needing to fund and justify treatment interventions. The review and calculator are free at Addiction;
- Guidance on National Guidelines Development (NGG). Guidance on how to develop national cessation guidelines.
This project ends in December 2015 but it is hoped that the work will continue through the new International Centre for Tobacco Cessation.
Tobacco Watch report - More cessation support needed globally