About: Tobacco Free Initiative in the Western Pacific Region
The World Health Organization's Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) was established in 1998 to focus and channel international attention, resources, and action to reduce the global burden of disease and death caused by tobacco use. TFI provides global policy leadership, encouraging mobilizations at all levels of society, promoting the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC).
There are an estimated 430 million smokers residing in the Western Pacific Region, or about one third of the world's smokers. Compared to the other five WHO Regions, the Western Pacific Region has the greatest number of smokers, among the highest rates of male smoking, and the fastest increase of tobacco use among women and young people. In the Western Pacific Region it is estimated that two people die every minute from tobacco-related disease, and half of all men, women, and children are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke at home and in public places. It was estimated that in 2004 there were 117 400 deaths in the region due to exposure to secondhand smoke.
Through ratification of the WHO FCTC, all countries in the Region have an obligation to implement the international regulatory framework to control tobacco use. The Regional Action Plan for the Tobacco Free Initiative in the Western Pacific Region (2010-2014) was developed by TFI in consultation with Member States to stimulate development and strengthening of national coordinating mechanisms and national action plans towards complete implementation of the WHO FCTC.