Impact of the WHO FCTC over the first decade: a global evidence review prepared for the Impact Assessment Expert Group

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Abstract

Objective

To present findings of a narrative review on the implementation and effectiveness of 17 Articles of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) during the Treaty's first decade.

Data sources

Published reports on global FCTC implementation; searches of four databases through June 2016; hand-search of publications/online resources; tobacco control experts.

Study selection

WHO Convention Secretariat global progress reports (2010, 2012, 2014); 2015 WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic; studies of social, behavioural, health, economic and/or environmental impacts of FCTC policies.

Data extraction

Progress in the implementation of 17 FCTC Articles was categorised (higher/intermediate/lower) by consensus. 128 studies were independently selected by multiple authors in consultation with experts.

Data synthesis

Implementation was highest for smoke-free laws, health warnings and education campaigns, youth access laws, and reporting/information exchange, and lowest for measures to counter industry interference, regulate tobacco product contents, promote alternative livelihoods and protect health/environment. Price/tax increases, comprehensive smoking and marketing bans, health warnings, and cessation treatment are associated with decreased tobacco consumption/health risks and increased quitting. Mass media campaigns and youth access laws prevent smoking initiation, decrease prevalence and promote cessation. There were few studies on the effectiveness of policies in several domains, including measures to prevent industry interference and regulate tobacco product contents.

Conclusions

The FCTC has increased the implementation of measures across several policy domains, and these implementations have resulted in measurable impacts on tobacco consumption, prevalence and other outcomes. However, FCTC implementation must be accelerated, and Parties need to meet all their Treaty obligations and consider measures that exceed minimum requirements.

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