WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2023 launched

Africa is making tobacco control progress, but more can and should be done

Statement of Leonce Dieudonné SESSOU, Executive Secretary of the African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) following the release of the WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2023.


Lomé, 25 September 2023

The African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) is pleased to see that countries of the WHO Afro region are improving their level of implementation of the MPOWER measures. As highlighted in the WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2023, published on 31 July, even though a lot more needs to be done to ensure maximum protection of Africans from the harms of tobacco and the tobacco industry, the continent is making efforts worth commending. We know how challenging it could be to implement these measures, especially with the tobacco industry always wanting to subdue such efforts in a bid to maximize its profits.

ATCA congratulates Afro countries whose progress is highlighted in the WHO report. We commend especially Mauritius which is one of only two countries in the world, that join Brazil and Türkiye as the countries that have accomplished the landmark achievement of putting in place the full MPOWER package at best-practice level, thanks to its implementation of smoke-free environments at the highest level since the release of the last WHO report.

We also commend Ethiopia and Zambia, whom together with Mauritius, advanced to best-practice level with their tobacco use cessation services, and Benin, which is one of only two countries in the world to have adopted large graphic warnings on tobacco packs as per the time of the preparation of the WHO report.

Our congratulations go equally to Cabo Verde which is amongst the seven countries in the world that introduced comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, including at point-of-sale, as well as to The Gambia, Kenya, and South Africa, which are identified in the report as the highest achieving countries for the implementation of anti-tobacco mass media campaigns.

We also congratulate all other countries that made efforts to maintain their ambitious standards of implementation of the MPOWER measures and call on governments to intensify efforts to fully implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Indeed, the journey ahead is tedious but the strides we make collectively will secure a healthier and tobacco-free Africa.

Media contact: AYONG I. CALEB
Email: ayong@atca-africa.org

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About the 9th WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic

The ninth WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic tracks the progress made by countries in tobacco control since 2008 and, marks 15 years since the introduction of the MPOWER technical package which is designed to help countries implement the demand-reduction measures of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The report shows that many countries continue to make progress in the fight against tobacco, but efforts must be accelerated to protect people from the harms of tobacco and second-hand smoke.