The status of tobacco control in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: progress in the implementation of the MPOWER measures

Fatimah El-Awa, Douglas Bettcher, Jawad A. Al-Lawati, Raouf Alebshehy, Hebe Gouda, Charles P. Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) MPOWER measures are a set of highly effective tobacco control measures drawn from the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), designed to help countries reduce the prevalence of tobacco use. The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic is published biennially to monitor global implementation of these measures. Aims: This review aimed to critically assess the status of MPOWER implementation in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Methods: Data were collected for WHO Reports on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, focusing on the most recent 2019 edition. Regional population coverage figures were calculated using this data and population figures for the countries of the Region. Results: Between 2007 and 2018, for any MPOWER measure, there were 29 cases of countries progressing to the highest level of achievement; 23 cases of countries progressing to the intermediate levels from the lowest level; 12 cases of countries falling from the highest level; and 18 cases of countries falling to the lowest level. 57.7% of people are covered at the highest level for the monitoring measure; 63.7% for the smoke-free policies measure; 6.7% for the cessation measure; 60.7% for the health warnings measure; 37.4% for the mass media measure; 29.4% for the advertising bans measure; and 16.1% for the taxation measure. Conclusions: Countries must work comprehensively to improve tobacco control. Regional priorities should include lifting more people out of lowest level coverage for the health warnings and mass media measures, increasing taxation on tobacco products and improving access to cessation services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
JournalEastern Mediterranean Health Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© World Health Organization (WHO) 2020.


  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco
  • Tobacco control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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