The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) today issued a new statement on Tobacco Control and Smoking Cessation at the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Denver. The statement calls for higher taxes on tobacco products, comprehensive advertising and promotion bans of all tobacco products and product regulation including pack warnings.
“Tax policies that increased the cost of cigarettes have played a prominent role in the reduction of cigarette smoking,” said Dr. Kenneth Michael Cummings, Professor, Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina and Co-Chair of IASLC’s Tobacco Control and Smoking Cessation Committee.
Cummings and the committee highlighted a recent estimate that showed that doubling the inflation-adjusted price of cigarettes could result in a 33 percent reduction in smoking prevalence. Many low- and middle-income countries can accomplish this by tripling the specific excise tax on tobacco. A low-specific excise tax on tobacco is the main reason that, even after adjustment for purchasing power, cigarettes are about 70 percent cheaper in many low-income countries compared with high-income countries.
Cummings said that smoking is responsible for over 80 percent of all lung cancer cases, while exposure to air pollution, radon, occupational exposures to chemicals and having a family history of lung cancer likely account for the majority of the remaining cases. Worldwide, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death.
IASLC urges its members and others around the world to:
Join together to forcefully implement the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which has among its key provisions increasing cigarette prices via taxation (to at least 70 percent of the retail price), prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to minors (less than 21 years of age), enacting and enforcing comprehensive cigarette marketing policies, eliminating tobacco use in public locations, mandating graphic warnings labels on cigarette containers, implementing public education campaigns to discourage the use of cigarettes and providing tobacco cessation support.
Adopt legal reforms that allow people who smoke and their families to use the judicial system to hold tobacco manufacturers civilly and criminally accountable for selling products that are deadly when used as intended.
Support programs to prevent smoking initiation habits in children and in youth and recognize that any attempts to induce nicotine consumption in this population should be avoided.
Implement tobacco cessation programs in their clinics, hospitals and cancer centers to assist their patients in achieving the best possible outcomes from their cancer treatment.
Adopt policy measures that recognize the probable differences in the lung cancer risk of alternative nicotine delivery products. Adopting policies that favor less dangerous (non-combustible) forms of nicotine delivery over cigarettes would provide a powerful incentive for people who smoke to move away from cigarettes which in turn would have a profound impact on global lung cancer rates in the coming decades.
To read the entire tobacco declaration, visit: https://www.iaslc.org/sites/default/files/wysiwyg-assets/News/iaslc_2015_tobacco_statement_long.pdf.
About the WCLC:
The WCLC is the world’s largest meeting dedicated to lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, attracting more than 7,000 researchers, physicians and specialists from more than 100 countries. The conference goal is to increase awareness and collaboration so that the latest developments in lung cancer can be understood and implemented throughout the world. Falling under the theme of “Fighting Lung Cancer,” the conference will cover a wide range of disciplines and unveil several research studies and clinical trial results. For the first time, IASLC has invited survivors to attend the conference free of charge. For more information on the 2015 WCLC, visit: http://wclc2015.iaslc.org/.
About the IASLC:
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization specifically dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association’s membership includes nearly 4,000 lung cancer specialists in 80 countries.