The Tobacco Epidemic

According to the World Health Organization (WHO)the tobacco epidemic is “one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced.” One person dies from a tobacco-related condition approximately every six seconds, and as many as half of the world’s one billion smokers–most of whom live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)–will die prematurely from their tobacco use. While much progress has been made to reduce tobacco-related disease and death in high-income countries, many LMICs are several decades behind in terms of tobacco use prevention and cessation. Unfortunately, this means that the global tobacco epidemic has just begun.

Tobacco users need help to quit, yet only 15% of the world’s population has access to comprehensive cessation services. Furthermore, one in four low-income countries does not have any cessation services available to tobacco users. The International Quitline Institute (IQI) training team addresses these voids by providing training to tobacco quitline counselors and administrators from LMICs.