World-wide Tobacco Control & Cessation
Almost 80% of the world’s 1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, with no affordable smoking cessation products. In 2002 we received a $1 million grant to fight big tobacco in Southeast Asia. As of 2018, grants from the NIH, Pfizer and other organizations help fund our work in Cambodia, Laos and Mongolia. Our ultimate aim is to reduce tobacco dependence to zero.
In Mongolia, we are testing cytisine, a plant-based smoking cessation treatment, costing less than 30 USD for the entire course of medication. Using GIS software, we identify locations where tobacco vendors and companies violate World Health Organization (WHO) regulations on package and price of cigarettes.
In Cambodia, we’ve been able to increase the price of cigarettes from 0.20 USD to 0.45 USD per pack. We discovered that women chewing tobacco during morning sickness was associated with high rates of infant mortality.
Compensating for its decline in the West, Big Tobacco is growing in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world. Infants, toddlers, and young children are encouraged to smoke to decrease their appetite for food. A high density of vendors sell low-cost cigarettes to children near their schools.
“There is much work to be done and we need help. Private donors have allowed us to collect pilot data and publish papers to support submitting roughly $6 million in grants.” - Pramil Singh, DrPH & Principle Investigator of Tobacco Research at Loma Linda University School of Public Health.