According to a 2019 study conducted by the local government in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), it is regrettable that the Kingdom of Jordan in the Middle East is the country with the highest smoking rate.
The survey found that about eight out of ten Jordanian men smoke or use other nicotine products. It estimated that men who smoke daily consume an average of 23 cigarettes per day and electronic cigarettes and other “smoke-free” products. Studies have shown that more than six-tenths (66%) of Jordanian men smoke, and 17% of women are smokers, more than Indonesia, which has long been considered the country with the highest smoking rate in the world.
“The rates are dangerously high and a predictor of a future public health catastrophe,” said Firas al-Hawari, a physician and head of the cancer-control office at Amman’s King Hussein Cancer Center.
Public health advocates and industry analysts will The shocking figures are attributed to the extensive intervention of the world’s major tobacco companies in policymaking, which is said to be less restricted in their business activities in Jordan than in the United Kingdom and other countries low smoking rates.
“These companies continue to exercise as much political power as they can in wealthy countries, but they’re more successful in lower-income countries where they face less transparency, can operate more in the dark and overwhelm whatever civic societies exist,” said Rima Nakkash, an associate professor of public health at the American University of Beirut.
Big tobacco companies’ influence on local authorities
After investigating the tobacco industry in Jordan, an article in the Guardian listed the following:
- “Tobacco lobbyists, including from British American Tobacco (BAT), are regularly involved in debating regulations for their products in Jordan to an extent that anti-smoking campaigners say is inappropriate.
- Jordan ranked second in the world for tobacco company interference in government, according to analysis by a civil society group.
- Claims that government officials were lobbied by tobacco industry executives on how they should implement public health legislation alongside offers of access to corporate social responsibility money.
- Philip Morris International has paid to refurbish schools in Jordan, provide children with school bags and run “career development” sessions for young people.
- PMI also featured on the social media feeds of the Jordanian prime minister, promoting its economic contribution to the country.”
Promoting the use of safer alternatives may help reduce smoking rates
At the same time, research from around the world has continuously shown that e-cigarettes may help reduce smoking rates. A 2019 report by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) stated that, contrary to the FDA’s concern that vaping may become a gateway to smoking, smoking rates continue to decline across all age groups.
Survey data shows that, contrary to the current widespread fear that the use of e-cigarettes may obsess the entire new generation of re-smoking, cigarette consumption among teenagers, young people, and the general population is still declining. Besides, like the similar claims of other studies, the 2018 National Drug Use and Health Survey (NSDUH) report pointed out that e-cigarettes may be the cause of the decline in smoking rates.
“Fewer than 1 in 6 people aged 12 or older in 2018 were past month cigarette smokers,” notes the SAMHSA report. “Cigarette use generally declined between 2002 and 2018 across all age groups. Some of this decline may reflect the use of electronic vaporizing devices (‘vaping’), such as e-cigarettes, as a substitute for delivering nicotine.”
This article is issued by vapingpost.