The Union is a global leader in the fight against tobacco use.
The Union centres its tobacco control work around the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) - an international health treaty - and a package of evidence-based measures proven to reduce tobacco use called MPOWER. Our work has spanned over 50 countries, impacting two-thirds of the world’s smokers. We focus on low- and middle-income countries, where 80 percent of tobacco deaths occur.
Our priority areas of work
The most effective way to reduce tobacco use is through the implementation of comprehensive tobacco control policies that are proven to tackle both supply and demand, like those set-out in the WHO FCTC and MPOWER package of tobacco reduction measures. The Union's work focuses on the priority areas below.
subtitle: The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars on advertising to increase sales
The Union has helped 4.13 billion people in 28 countries through advertising bans.
The Union co-manages the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use Grants Program, which awards funds to projects delivering high-impact tobacco control interventions in low- and middle-income countries. In 2019 The Union launched the Global Implementation Programme, which supports cities to effectively implement tobacco control laws, and we are a key partner in STOP, a global tobacco industry watchdog. Both projects are also funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use Grants Program
The Union has managed 495 Bloomberg tobacco control grants in 45 countries.
Where we work
Many low- and middle-income countries, where 80 percent of tobacco-related deaths occur, are faced with rising affordability of tobacco products as well as an aggressive tobacco industry that targets both consumers and governments – so rates of tobacco use continue to rise. The Union has supported over 50 countries worldwide to implement tobacco control policies, impacting billions of people.
2022 Tobacco Control Factsheets
The Union’s Tobacco Control Department has produced five factsheets on critical aspects of tobacco control: COVID-19 and Tobacco; E-cigarettes, Heated Tobacco Products, and the Need for Bans in LMICs; Tobacco Control Implementation and Enforcement; Novel Products, Young People, and Policy; and Tobacco Vendor Licensing. These factsheets offer a deep dive into specific topics, summarizing evidence, defining key terms, and providing practical guidance and evidence-based recommendations.
Tobacco Control Publications
The Union produces publications and resources to support governments and civil society working to reduce tobacco use. These support the implementation of evidence-based tobacco control policies; and provide guidance on complex new issues for tobacco control, such as e-cigarettes, to spark debate leading to further research and action. Find all Union publications.
The latest news on tobacco control
WHO awards President of Mexico with 2022 World No Tobacco Day special prize for outstanding tobacco control progress
On 31 May, the President of México, the Honorable Andrés Manuel López Obrador received special recognition from the World Health…
Invest in tobacco control to end tuberculosis in Indonesia
Over 61.4 million people in Indonesia smoke, with 65% of all adult men smoking. In 2020, the Joint External Monitoring Mission on…
Government of Manipur Adopted Official State Policy to Stop Tobacco Industry Interference (TII)
After acknowledging that it is critical to ensuring and protecting the public health, the North-Eastern Indian state Manipur issued a…
Bangladesh Railway Minister Transforms Country’s Trains, making them completely Smokefree
The Bangladesh railway system—this includes stations, platforms, and train compartments—is now entirely smokefree, following a February…
Timor-Leste Raises Tobacco Taxes
On 15th December 2021, Timor-Leste determined that it would increase tax on tobacco products, effective January 2022. The excise tax…
Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance announces a 12% increase in tobacco excise tax and prices for 2022
On 13 December, the Ministry of Finance Indonesia announced that both tobacco excise tax and minimum retail prices will increase by an…
As part of the Tobacco Control Section, Union members work closely to organise webinars on varied tobacco control topics of interest to international audience, and assist tobacco control implementers and advocates with policy making in their countries, and contribute to the scientific programme of The Union World Lung Conference.