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Title: Tobacco control in the Eastern Mediterranean region: implementation progress and persisting challenges
Authors: Abu-Rmeileh, Niveen M. E. 
Khader, Yousef Saleh 
Abdul Rahim, Hanan 
Mostafa, Aya 
Nakkash, Rima T. 
Hamadeh, Randah R. 
Ben Romdhane, Habiba 
Salloum, Ramzi George 
Keywords: Smoking - Government policy - Mediterranean region;Tobacco industry - Mediterranean region
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Tobacco Control
Abstract: Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable mortality worldwide, projected to claim 1 billion lives in the twenty-first century. 1 Tobacco prevalence rates are expected to decrease across all the WHO regions by 2025 as a result of tobacco control efforts. However, the smallest decline is projected in the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR)— from 33.3% in 2020 to 31.0% in 2025—making it almost certain that the region will not achieve WHO’s 30% relative reduction target by 2025.1 The EMR includes 22 member states, with a total population of nearly 680million that is diverse in terms of demographic, geographic, political and socioeconomic characteristics. The EMR has a history of conflict and protracted political and humanitarian crises. These unstable conditions, in addition to underdeveloped public health systems,2 have undermined tobacco control efforts and contributed to the persistence of weak tobacco regulatory environments across countries in the region. 3. Moreover, about one third of the region’s population is between the ages of 15 and 29 years,4 representing a critical subgroup particularly susceptible to tobacco marketing.
DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2021-056539
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