The World Health Organization (WHO) has commended Brazil, Mauritius, the Netherlands, and Turkey for wholly implementing recommended measures against tobacco usage.

The recent announcement was made in a report released by the global health body, which is advocating for a broader implementation of known strategies that have proven effective against smoking.

These measures include bans on tobacco advertising, placing conspicuous health warnings on cigarette packaging, increasing tobacco taxation, and offering support to help smokers quit the habit. As part of the recently endorsed full measures, Mauritius and the Netherlands join Brazil and Turkey as leaders in the anti-tobacco initiative.

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The report confirms that as of now, 71% of the world’s population, or around 5.6 billion people, are safeguarded by at least one of these tobacco control measures. This represents a significant upturn from the figures recorded in 2007.

The global prevalence of smoking has seen a decline from 22.8% in 2007 to 17% in 2021, averting an estimated 300 million additional smokers.

Despite these efforts, smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death, annually accounting for 8.7 million fatalities, which include 1.3 million deaths resulting from second-hand smoke inhalation.