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Prevalence of tabacco product use in Latvia and control measures

Author(s): Kokarevica A.

Journal: SHS Web of Conferences
ISSN 2261-2424

Volume: 2;
Start page: 00017;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: prevalence of tobacco use | tobacco control

The use of tobacco products is a major problem having a serious effect on public health. Deaths from external causes are those that can be prevented by ensuring environmental safety and educating the society about the effect of lifestyle habits and behaviour on health of an individual. Not only research data reveal the prevalence of tobacco use but also the rate of tobacco sales. Tobacco industry marketing includes advertising, sales promotion and sponsorship strategies that are aimed at promotion of tobacco use. Demand for tobacco products is influenced also by changes in legislation relating to ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship. Therefore it is necessary to introduce an agreed strategy for reducing tobacco use. The countries that have ratified the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (the Convention) should develop and implement an effective tobacco control programme. In Latvia the number of daily smokers gradually decreases thanks to the extensive smoking restrictions though tobacco manufacturers use all the available media, radio and television, newspapers, magazines, advertisements and Internet, to advertise their products. Therefore in order to combat the prevalence of smoking first of all it is necessary to limit cigarette marketing and sales and to carry out monitoring and development of tobacco control measures on the state level. The sales of legal cigarettes have decreased in Latvia starting from 2009. However, the increase in tax rates and prices has contributed to the movement of illegal goods therefore it is necessary to take additional restrictive measures concerning the movement of illegal goods. Though amendments to legislation of Latvia relating to tobacco control comply with the requirements of the WHO Convention it is necessary to evaluate the efficiency of control measures and to improve them. Systematic and comprehensive education of the public is required to encourage the change of public attitude in favour of a healthy lifestyle.
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