Preventing a tobacco epidemic in Africa
Consensus Study Report
In April 2013, the Network of African Science Academies convened a committee of experts to discuss the evidence, obstacles, and opportunities for implementing and enforcing tobacco use prevention and control policies in Africa. The committee, consisting of 16 experts drawn from 8 countries in Africa, met for 3 days in Kampala, Uganda, with funding administered by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Each distinguished committee member was selected for his or her in-depth tobacco-specific knowledge in areas including agriculture, policy, economics, social science, health, and the environment. The committee reviewed and assessed the evidence on the state of tobacco use and tobacco production and their detrimental health, economic, and environmental effects in Africa. The committee also reviewed efforts currently under way to prevent and control tobacco use, including the status of adoption and ratification of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Based on this evidence, the committee reached consensus on actions that African leaders and other stakeholders should take to combat this growing threat. This report presents the committee’s evidence-based recommendations for tobacco control in Africa. It outlines strategies that should place tobacco control policy on the African leadership agenda, and also calls upon other groups, such as civil society organizations, to share in the responsibility of protecting those most vulnerable to misleading and deceitful messaging by the tobacco industry.