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obacco consumption is global epidemic, with special high rates in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR), which covers
all Arab countries, in addition to Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. While several studies and surveys documented the high
prevalence among adult males, more recent ones (including GYTS and GATS) indicate new waves of high consumption among
several other population sub-groups, including school children (of both genders) and adult females. Nevertheless, the EMR
epidemic seems to mostly affect adult males, especially in countries as Egypt, Tunisia and Gulf Cooperation Council countries
(including Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE and Qatar), as far documentation (reported smoking status rates) is
concerned. Applying the WHO-POWER model of tobacco control to EMR situation, several indications and challenges in
its implementation become apparent. These include: feasibility of time trend studies; under-estimates of female tobacco use;
difficulties in accessibility to certain population sub-groups; feasibility of implementation trials; few EMR states implemented
some nationwide WHO/CDC surveys, especially GATS. Nevertheless, we have to emphasize that tobacco research provides
EMR evidence for policy makers of cost-effectiveness of implementing control measures, including different MPOWER
recommendations. It also provides media with information helpful in raising awareness of population sub-groups, especially
youngsters, of impacts of tobacco use on one hand, and effectiveness of control measures on the other.
Ahmed Mandil is the Professor of Epidemiology & Supervisor, Community Medicine, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia (seconded from Institute
of Public Health, Egypt). He received his MBChB (1981) from Alexandria University, Egypt; DrPH from UCLA School of Public Health, USA (1991).
He was IEA Secretary (2002-2008) and serves as peer reviewer of scientific Journals including:
Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, Journal of
Epidemiology & Global Health and Journal of Family & Community Medicine
. He consulted international agencies as: WHO, UNICEF, Population
Council. He also contributed to WHO publications as: Non-Communicable Disease national capacity assessment survey (2001); Emergency
Preparedness and Response national capacity assessment survey (2008).
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