Potential impact of strong tobacco-control policies in 11 newly independent states
Publication Source

Central European Journal of Public Health

Journal article
Economy status
Lower-middle-income economies, Upper-middle-income economies

While some countries of the WHO European Region are global leaders in tobacco control, the Newly Independent States (NIS) have the highest tobacco-smoking prevalence globally and a relatively low overall level of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) implementation. An abridged version of the SimSmoke tobacco control policy simulation model has been developed to project the health impact of implementing tobacco-control policies in line with the WHO FCTC.

Data on population size, smoking prevalence, policy-specific effect sizes and formulas were applied in 11 NIS – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The aim was to project the relative reduction in smoking prevalence, number of smokers and number of smoking-attributable deaths resulting from implementing six individual and/or combined WHO FCTC measures.

An increase in excise cigarette taxes to 75% of price yields the largest relative reduction in smoking prevalence (range 12.1-44%) for all countries. The projections show that when all six tobacco control measures are fully implemented in line with the WHO FCTC, smoking prevalence in each of the NIS countries can be reduced by at least 39% by the year 2033 (baseline 2015).

The projections show that the NIS countries can expect a large number of smoking-attributable deaths just among those smokers alive today, but large reductions in smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable deaths can be achieved if the WHO FCTC demand reduction policies are implemented. The results can be used as an advocacy tool for accelerating enforcement of tobacco control laws in NIS.