Tobacco Free Initiative

Can we reverse the tobacco epidemic?

WHO recommends two tools to reverse an epidemic that kills nearly 6 million people every year worldwide. Tobacco use by men and women in the Eastern Mediterranean Region is escalating, and consumption has reached alarming rates in young boys and girls.

Watch the animated video for WHO’s recommended tools to reverse the tobacco epidemic

Key statistics

Tobacco use kills nearly 6 million people a year worldwide.

In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 38% of men and 4% of women smoke tobacco.

Smoking rates among youth are particularly worrying: they can reach 42% among boys and 31% among girls. This includes smoking shisha, which is more popular among youth than cigarettes.

Full implementation of the WHO FCTC measures represented by MPOWER could reduce smoking prevalence in the Eastern Mediterranean Region by almost half.

WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

MPOWER measures to reduce tobacco use


Increasing tobacco taxes is one of the most effective tobacco control policies

1 November 2015 – The Regional Office, the Framework Convention Secretariat, ministries of health and finance, countries and experts are working together to tackle tobacco taxation, which is one of...

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Duedate for Letter of intent: 13 October 2015 Duedate for Application: 20 November 2015 TheNational Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)are now accepting proposals for research on...

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WHO global tobacco report highlights insufficient progressin tobacco control

Countries of theRegion need to implement effective tobacco control measures at the highest possible level of implementationand to counter the influence of the tobacco industry at national level to save...

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In focus

Countries commit to achieving 30% reduction in tobacco use by 2025

In 2014, the World Health Assembly adopted the global target of a 30% relative reduction in the prevalence of tobacco use by 2025, as part of the monitoring framework for...

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Qatar releases key findings from the first Global Adult Tobacco Survey

27 November 2013 – Qatar released its fact sheet from the first Global Adult Tobacco Survey in a press conference organized by the Supreme Council of Health. The Global Adult...

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Regional workshop on tobacco control and trade

From 19 to 21 March 2013, the first regional workshop that tackles the issue of trade in relation to tobacco control is being held jointly with WHO headquarters. This workshop...

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  • Tobacco-free public spaces

Tobacco-free public places means that ALL indoor workplaces and indoor public places should be 100% smoke-free.

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Statistics and figures

By 2030 70% of tobacco-related deaths will be in developing countries

Tobacco use in the Eastern Mediterranean Region