News and Highlights
The Global Tobacco Control Treaty has Reduced Smoking Rates in its First Decade, but More Work is Needed
March 22, 2017
Despite worldwide progress since the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) came into effect in 2005, not all key demand-reduction measures have been fully implemented at the same pace, but doing so could reduce tobacco use even further.
October 24, 2016THE FIFTH ESTATE (Friday, October 21, 2016): Five million Canadians still smoke, and Health Canada is on the cusp of deciding how e-cigarettes should be regulated. Could e-cigarettes...
July 13, 2016
WATERLOO, Ont. (Monday, July 11, 2016) — Researchers at the University of Waterloo have been awarded a grant of $8.8 million from the U.S. National Cancer Institute to evaluate the public-health impact of government policies to regulate tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and other vaporized nicotine products.
Bangladesh Study Shows Tobacco Products are Becoming More Affordable and There is Need for Tobacco Tax System Reform as Tobacco Users may Switch Between Tobacco Products Rather than Quit
May 03, 2016
(Monday, 2 May 2016, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada): A report released today entitled “The trend in affordability of tobacco products in Bangladesh 2009-2015: Evidence from ITC Bangladesh Surveys” found that although the price of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco increased between 2009 and 2015, rapid economic growth in Bangladesh more than offset these increases.
December 14, 2015
Kenyan tobacco users want more information on tobacco packages to become better informed about the harms of tobacco use, according to a report released today in Nairobi, Kenya by an international research team at the Kenya Ministry of Health, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the International Institute for Legislative Affairs, the University of Nairobi, and the University of Waterloo in Canada.
December 11, 2015Zambia lags far behind other countries in implementing effective policies to protect the public from the growing threat of a tobacco epidemic despite strong public support, and Zambia’s continued inaction is promoted by incorrect beliefs that tobacco leaf growing is an economic boon to Zambian farmers according to two reports released today in Lusaka, Zambia by an international research team at the University of Zambia, the University of Waterloo in Canada, and the American Cancer Society.
November 16, 2015WATERLOO, Ont. (Monday, November 16, 2015) – Efforts over the past seven years to reduce tobacco use in China have been strikingly ineffective and leave tobacco use a top threat to the health...
October 19, 2015BEIJING, 19 October 2015 – A strong, comprehensive, national smoke-free law would protect all of China’s 1.34 billion citizens from the harms of second-hand tobacco smoke, and would be...
September 12, 2015
WATERLOO, Ont. (12, September 2015) – Dutch smokers, after years of tobacco control policies, are generally unconcerned about the dangers of smoking and second hand smoke, according to an international comparative study published today.
ITC Economics of Tobacco Control (Part 2): Evidence from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Project
June 24, 2015We are very excited to announce the publication of our second Economics Supplement: The Economics of Tobacco Control (Part 2): Evidence from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy...
May 11, 2015In March of 2015, India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) announced that they are delaying implementation of larger pictorial health warnings (increasing from 40% of the...
March 19, 2015
(Thursday March 19, 2015, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada): University of Waterloo Researcher, and ITC Project Chief Principal Investigator Dr. Geoffrey Fong was awarded the American Cancer Society's Luther L. Terry Award for Outstanding Research Contributions today at the World Conference for Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) in Abu Dhabi.
February 17, 2015
This week on 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver', host John Oliver took on global tobacco marketing.
January 06, 2015
Smokers are almost twice as likely to take notice of health warnings on tobacco products when their packaging is stripped of advertising, according to a new report by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). (1) The BHF’s Standardised Packaging for Tobacco Products report reviewed data from almost 3,000 smokers and ex-smokers to test how effective standardised packaging is as a tobacco control strategy.
Uruguay’s Tobacco Control Policies Reducing Smoking Rates, Encouraging Quitting, Finds Six-Year Survey
August 20, 2014
(Wednesday August 20th, 2014, Montevideo, Uruguay and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada): The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) today launched a new report on the effectiveness of tobacco control policies in Uruguay, a country currently the target of litigation by Philip Morris International (PMI). Uruguay’s government has consistently asserted its sovereign right to implement tobacco control laws to protect public health and the ITC Uruguay National Report (the Report) confirms that the government’s policies are making significant progress in reducing smoking rates and increasing support among smokers for even stronger tobacco control policies.
July 21, 2014
It is with great urgency that I announce the release of this report on the findings of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC Project) Wave 1 Survey in Zambia — the first longitudinal survey ever conducted in Zambia to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of tobacco control policies in Zambia. As a cardiologist and Principal Investigator for the ITC Zambia Survey, I am passionate about implementing scientifically-proven solutions in the fight to protect the people of Zambia from the harms of tobacco. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s leading cause of death, killing 17.3 million people every year
June 13, 2014
Nowhere on the planet does the tobacco epidemic loom more ominously than in China, where there are 300 million smokers and where findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Project over the past five years have documented the very low levels of knowledge about the specific harms of cigarettes, relative to other ITC countries throughout the world.
National smoke-free law and increased anti-tobacco marketing, including pictorial warnings on the front of the pack, are needed to help Brazil reduce economic and health burden of tobacco-related illness and death
May 30, 2014(Friday, 30 May 2014, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and Brasilia, Brazil): A report released today at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) World No Tobacco Day event in Brasilia, Brazil, reveals that Brazil needs to address key gaps in its tobacco control policies in order to reduce the economic and health burden of tobacco use. The report, entitled “ITC Brazil Project Report: Findings from the Wave 1 and 2 Surveys (2009 – 2013)”, was produced by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project), centered at the University of Waterloo, in partnership with the National Cancer Institute (INCA), the National Secretariat for Drug Policy (SENAD), and the Cancer Foundation, with support from Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), and the Brazilian Alliance for Tobacco Control (ACTbr).
Zambia needs to increase tobacco prices and anti-tobacco campaigns including pictorial health warnings to combat increased threat of tobacco epidemic
May 30, 2014(Friday, 30 May 2014, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and Lusaka, Zambia): A report released today at a World No Tobacco Day event in Lusaka, Zambia, reveals that Zambia needs to address key gaps in its tobacco control policies in order to combat the increasing tobacco epidemic in Africa. The report, entitled “ITC Zambia National Report: Findings from the Wave 1 (2012) Survey” was produced by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project), centered at the University of Waterloo, in partnership with the University of Zambia and the Zambian Ministry of Health.
ITC Project Survey of 20+ countries confirms need for regular tobacco price increases to prevent looming public health crisis
May 28, 2014
(Wednesday, 28 May 2014, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada): A report released today by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, confirms the importance of price and taxation as a highly effective means of encouraging smokers to quit. The report, entitled “Tobacco Price and Taxation: ITC Cross-Country Comparison Report”, compares data from surveys in the 20+ countries of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project), centered at the University of Waterloo, together with data from other sources, such as World Health Organisation.
Bangladesh needs to simplify its current tobacco tax structure to strengthen the use of tobacco taxes to reduce tobacco use while increasing tax revenue
May 26, 2014
(Monday, 26 May 2014, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada): A new report released today entitled “Tobacco Price and Taxation Policies in Bangladesh: Evidence of Effectiveness and Implications for Action,” finds that the current structure of the tobacco tax system in Bangladesh reduces the effectiveness of using tobacco taxes to reduce consumption and prevalence of tobacco in the country at the same time as it allows multiple opportunities for tax avoidance through tobacco industry strategies and tobacco user choices. The Report, prepared by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) at the University of Waterloo, in Canada, suggests that a simplified tax system would be more efficient and more easily administered, and would lead, potentially, to considerable health benefits and gains in tax revenue in Bangladesh.
China Needs to Improve Its Text-Only Tobacco Health Warnings By Adding Images of Tobacco-Related Diseases
April 08, 2014
BEIJING, 8 April 2014 – Large, graphic health warnings on tobacco packets in China would increase awareness about the harms of smoking, help to cut smoking rates, and in doing so save lives according to global studies. These are the key findings from a new report, Tobacco health warnings in China – Evidence of effectiveness and implications for action, from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC Project), released today.
Canada’s recent progress in tobacco control under threat due to complacency, economic growth, and tobacco industry marketing strategies
November 27, 2013
(Wednesday, 27 November 2013, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada): A report released today at the Canadian National Conference on Tobacco or Health in Ottawa reveals that Canada, traditionally seen as a global leader in tobacco control, is at risk of stagnating or even losing ground in its efforts to reduce tobacco use. The report, entitled “ITC Canada National Report: Findings from the Wave 1 to Wave 8 Surveys (2002-11)” was produced by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project), centered at the University of Waterloo, as part of a large international research collaboration across 22 countries throughout the world. The ITC Canada Report summarizes the findings of the ITC Canada Survey, a 9-year cohort survey of 1500-2000 smokers and quitters across Canada, designed to evaluate the effectiveness of Canada’s tobacco control policies.
Graphic Warnings Labels on Cigarette Packs Could Lead to 8.6 Million Fewer Smokers in the United States and Save Millions of Lives
November 25, 2013
(Monday, 25 November 2013, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Chicago, Illinois, USA): A research paper published in the scientific journal Tobacco Control, “Cigarette graphic warning labels and smoking prevalence in Canada: a critical examination and reformulation of the FDA regulatory impact analysis”, shows that graphic warning labels on cigarette packs led to a decrease in smoking rates in Canada of between 12% and 20% from 2000 to 2009. The authors estimate that if the same model was applied to the United States, the introduction of graphic warnings would potentially lead to a decrease of between 5.3 and 8.6 million smokers.
Comprehensive Smokefree Laws, Stricter Enforcement and Higher Tobacco Prices Among Measures Needed to Reduce Escalation in Tobacco Deaths in India
September 12, 2013
(Thursday September 12th, 2013, New Delhi, India and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada): The Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project India (the TCP India Project) today revealed the results of a study (the TCP India Survey) of the effectiveness and impacts of tobacco control legislation in India. The Report finds that while India has been a regional leader in implementing tobacco control legislation over the previous decade, a combination of factors including low levels of awareness of the risks of tobacco use, partial rather than comprehensive smokefree legislation, poor enforcement of existing smokefree laws and the relative affordability of tobacco means that few current tobacco users say they are ready to quit.
June 05, 2013
On May 31, 2013, Professor Geoffrey T. Fong of the Department of Psychology and the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, and Senior Investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research received a World Health Organization (WHO) World No Tobacco Day Award in a ceremony at the WHO Region of Americas Office in Washington, DC.
Brazil Study Finds That a Stronger Tobacco Marketing Ban is Needed to Curb Tobacco Industry Efforts to Attract New Smokers
May 29, 2013
(Tuesday May 28th, 2013, Brasília, Brazil and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada): The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) today released the results of a four-year study (the ITC Brazil Survey) of the effectiveness of bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) in Brazil. The release of the ITC Brazil Report on TAPS (the Report) is part of Brazil's events for World No Tobacco Day, which this year is focused on TAPS. The Report finds that incomplete and poorly enforced bans on TAPS mean that nearly a quarter of Brazilians still see marketing messages from tobacco companies at Point-of-Sale (PoS) displays, through corporate social responsibility initiatives run by the industry, on tobacco product packaging and in TV shows and films. Almost half of smokers (49 percent) and non-smokers (45.4 percent) agree that tobacco companies should be required to sell cigarettes in packs with only the brand name and health warnings, but without colorful designs on the rest of the pack.
ITC China Survey Confirms Alarming Lack of Progress on Tobacco Control but Growing Public Support for Stronger Policies
December 17, 2012
Beijing, China (Saturday, Dec 15, 2012) – The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) launched the findings of a three-year evaluation of tobacco control policies in China – the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco. The ITC Project Report was presented in Beijing on Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15 by Professor Geoffrey T. Fong, Chief Principal Investigator and Founder of the ITC Project at the China Forum on Chronic Disease Prevention and Control. The ITC China Report confirms that China has fallen well short of its commitments to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) the world’s first public health treaty. The findings of the ITC China Survey, conducted between 2006 and 2009 among 5,600 adult smokers and 1,400 non-smokers in 7 cities in Mainland China, show clearly the China’s policies are very weak across several key areas of tobacco control.
Korea Study Confirms Need For High Taxes on Cigarettes, Graphic Warnings on Packs, and Comprehensive Smokefree Laws
November 15, 2012
(Thursday November 15th, 2012, Seoul, Republic of Korea and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada): The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) today revealed the results of a five-year study of the effectiveness of tobacco control policies in the Republic of Korea, where smoking related diseases kill more than 55,000 people each year. Although tobacco control legislation introduced between 1995 and 2005 had a dramatic effect in reducing smoking rates, the ITC Korea Survey (the Survey) found that progress has slowed in the past five years, with the diminishing impact on smokers of comparatively small, text-only warnings on cigarette packs, the increased affordability of cigarettes, and the lack of comprehensive smoke-free laws to reduce smoking in public places and protect smokers and non-smokers from secondhand smoke.
August 15, 2012
BUFFALO - Smokers who try to quit have a better chance of succeeding when they use FDA-approved stop-smoking medications rather than going it alone, according to a new study by researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) published online today in the British journal Addiction.
August 03, 2012
(Thursday August 2nd, 2012, Montevideo, Uruguay and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada): The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project) today launched a new report on the effectiveness of tobacco control policies in Uruguay. The ITC Uruguay Survey (the Survey) found that the country's world-leading, comprehensive tobacco control strategy has had positive effects on raising awareness of the true harms of smoking, reducing misperceptions about "light/mild" cigarettes, reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, and reducing the demand for tobacco products through tax increases.
Evaluation of Tobacco Control in Mauritius Shows Need for New Pack Warnings and Stronger Commitment to Smoking Bans
May 31, 2012
Findings from a three-year comprehensive evaluation of tobacco control polices in Mauritius were released on May 31, 2012 by the Honorable Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr. Lormus Bundhoo, in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day. The study was conducted by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC Project) in collaboration with Mauritius Institute of Health (MIH) and the Mauritius Ministry of Health and Quality of Life.
May 18, 2012
The ITC Project is one of the key research projects featured at the Canadian Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2012. The Congress is the largest annual multidisciplinary conference in Canada with close to 8000 delegates and guests expected. Organized by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS), Congress 2012 will be jointly hosted the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University from May 26 to June 2.
May 09, 2012
AMSTERDAM) Today the Network for the Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT), comprised of more than 100 organizations from 50 countries nominated the Dutch outgoing government for the “Marlboro Man” award -- a less-than-prestigious prize given to a government that is furthering Big Tobacco’s interests and putting profit over people. NATT is calling on the Netherlands to fulfill its obligations under international law and safeguard its public health policies against tobacco industry interference. New elections are coming up in the Netherlands and a new policy can be issued within months. The nomination can therefore be seen as a strong incentive to change an ineffective policy into an effective health policy.
April 20, 2012
A report released April 20, 2012 at the World Heart Federation World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai reveals significant gaps in public awareness regarding the cardiovascular risks of tobacco use and secondhand smoke. The report, entitled "Cardiovascular harms from tobacco use and secondhand smoke", was commissioned by the World Heart Federation and written by the International Tobacco Control Project (ITC Project), in collaboration with the Tobacco Free Initiative at the World Health Organization.
April 11, 2012
Advocates in the Netherlands are asking for your signature on a new petition. They are calling for Prime Minister Mark Rutte to stop partnering with the tobacco industry and hold the tobacco industry accountable for the preventable deaths in Netherlands and around the world.
February 14, 2012
Smoking bans in offices, restaurants and other public places don't drive smokers to light up more at home, but in fact prompt them to impose their own extra restrictions on the habit, according to an ITC European study published in the journal Tobacco Control.
January 10, 2012
Dr. Geoffrey Fong discusses the limited success of tobacco control policies in China and the Netherlands in a forthcoming issue of International Innovation. The article discusses the powerful influence of the tobacco industry which has led to weak policies in both countries.
December 09, 2011
A letter in The Lancet titled "Can the Dutch Government really be abandoning smokers to their fate?" provides commentary on the deplorable situation in The Netherlands. The Health Minister, Edith Schippers, is destroying the infrastructure for tobacco control as she also weakens the already-weak smoke-free laws, eliminates mass media, and is attempting to stop govt reimbursement for stop smoking medication.
November 17, 2011
According to Dr. Geoffrey Fong, the most difficult aspect of knowledge translation (KT) is just convincing people to pay attention to research findings. But since he started the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC), Dr. Fong hasn't just captured policy makers' attention – his evaluation findings have been helping set the global agenda on tobacco regulation.
October 24, 2011
A Dutch documentary entitled “Minister of Tobacco” describes the strong links between the Dutch Minister of Health, Edith Schippers, and the tobacco industry, in apparent violation of Article 5.3 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The documentary reveals evidence in emails and letters that Ministry of Health officials have had frequent contact with the tobacco lobby.