Cancer Research UK, the Union for International Cancer Control, the US National Cancer Institute and Cancer Council Australia, today formally united to further research into evidence-based tobacco control, to reduce the millions of tobacco-related deaths that occur across the world each year.
Cancer Research UK today pledged £5 million to establish, with its cancer fighting partners, the International Consortium for Action and Research on Tobacco, and fund tobacco control research programmes in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs), where the impact of tobacco-related cancer is greatest.
Cancer Research UK Chief Executive Officer Harpal Kumar comments: "Tobacco consumption is a burning platform that requires an urgent global solution. Governments around the world have committed to reduce tobacco use by 30 per cent by 2025. This won't be achieved by words alone.
We have to reduce the huge number of lives affected by tobacco and we hope that the announcement of this global consortium, backed up by this initial investment pledge, will help expand tobacco control research in the countries, which need it most. We will generate locally relevant evidence that will be capable of being implemented rapidly. If we act together, we could save 200 million of the one billion tobacco deaths that we will otherwise see this century."
Tobacco remains the world's single most preventable cause of death and disease. Significantly:
1) Tobacco kills six million people each year worldwide, and is responsible for one in three cancer deaths.
2) By 2030, over 80% of tobacco-related mortality will be in low LMICs.
3) Tobacco will kill about one billion people in the 21st century, if current trends continue.
"Millions of people are dying throughout the world each year due to something that is entirely preventable. The global cancer community must unite to reduce tobacco use. By joining forces we will accelerate progress in tobacco control and ultimately save lives that would otherwise be needlessly lost. Through the International Consortium for Action and Research on Tobacco we commit to mobilise our combined knowledge and resources in this fight", said Cary Adams, UICC Chief Executive Officer.
Whilst a large body of tobacco control research has been generated in high-income countries, there is an acute need for high-quality, locally-relevant research that informs policy and addresses the varying social, economic, cultural and political situations in LMICs. This is the key priority of the International Consortium for Action and Research on Tobacco.
"Australia has led the way in innovative tobacco control policies. We are proud to be helping found the International Consortium for Action and Research on Tobacco, and to share our knowledge and experiences to further advance tobacco control worldwide," noted Professor Ian Olver, Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Council Australia.