With the 41st Union World Conference on Lung Health hardly
two weeks ahead of us, the issues which emerged at the 39th Union World
Conference on Lung Health in Paris, France, where CNS was present, are worth
re-visiting. With 50% of all deaths from lung disease linked to tobacco use,
control of the tobacco related substances was high on the agenda of the 39th
Union World Conference on Lung Health in Paris, France (2007). This year 2010,
is also declared as Year of the Lung.
"Up to one in five TB (tuberculosis) deaths could be
avoided if TB patients were not smokers," Dr Nils Billo, Executive
Director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The
Union), had said in 2007 Union conference.
Smoking is also associated with recurrent TB and people with
the disease who smoke have a higher risk of mortality than non-smokers with TB.
The scaling-up of tobacco cessation services for people with TB is therefore a
Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the Stop TB Department of
WHO had discussed the Practical Approach to Lung health (PAL) with delegates at
the 2007 39th Union World Conference on Lung Health. The approach focused on
comprehensive treatment for all respiratory conditions and diseases, not just
About 80% of smokers live in low and middle-income countries
and 520 million people will die from tobacco-related illnesses in the next 50
years, according to available data. By 2030 the annual number of deaths from
tobacco will increase from five million to more than eight million.
The Union has helped raise awareness of tobacco hazards,
encouraging its partners to play an active role in tobacco control and
recognize the link between tobacco and TB.
It has also promoted effective tobacco control policies
through technical resources, training a new generation of managers and
practitioners and supporting effective programs through grants.
WHO and The Union had published and released a joint
monograph on TB and tobacco control in 2007 and key elements of the policy
include the identification and offers of counselling for smokers assessed for
TB or other respiratory diseases.
The monograph also called for the operation of smoke-free
public health centres and the training of health workers to deliver smoking
Concerns over the high rates of tobacco use among
doctors and healthcare providers in high TB-burdened countries were also raised
during discussions at the conference. In some regions more than 50% of
healthcare workers use the drug, making it difficult for them to play a genuine
role in tobacco cessation programs.