|UEMO Policy Statement on Tobacco Control|
Each year, tobacco causes some 4 million premature deaths, with 1 million of these occurring in countries that can least afford the health care burden. By the year 2030, tobacco is likely to be the world's leading cause of death and disability, killing more than 10 million people annually.
Effective tobacco control requires a diverse array of strategies including research, policy and programmatic components. Strategies must be comprehensive, developed and coordinated to work together and compliment those implemented at the local, national and international levels.
To achieve the individual behavior change that supports the non-use of tobacco, communities must change the way tobacco is promoted, sold and used while changing the knowledge, attitudes and practices of young people, tobacco users, and non-users.
The fact that one billion Euros are spent every year subsidizing tobacco production needs to be addressed. A calling for the phasing out of tobacco subsidies in this region is a key element in developing a comprehensive and coherent European tobacco control strategy.
In the primary care system, GPs should play a central role in preventing tobacco use. In order to do that effectively they need appropriate knowledge and communication skills. Their practice should be based on medical evidence. GPs also have to foster a positive attitude towards the task. Adequate resources and time are important factors in succeeding in this preventive activity.
The UEMO, as the political organization of European GPs, is committed to working side by side with other medical organisations on a European and international level to create a coordinated effort to curb the global epidemic of tobacco related disease.
The main objective is to:
Given the burden that tobacco inflicts on the European Community, and given the evidence of the effectiveness of clinical tobacco interventions, the UEMO is of the opinion that:
assessment, counselling, pharmacotherapy, ongoing support, relapse
Each health profession brings its own unique knowledge and expertise to
advance an overall strategy.
status when appropriate and document it.
The UEMO should use its efforts to influence governments, health care and social systems in the European Society to put into practice comprehensive and co-ordinated tobacco control programs. The goal is to reduce disease, disability, and death related to tobacco use.
The UEMO calls for: