Mobilizing public opinion for a political commitment for a Tobacco Endgame strategy - obstacles and possibilities
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Tobaksfakta - Independent Tobacco Think Tank, Sweden
Health Professionals Against Tobacco, Sweden
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A653
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Background and challenges to implementation:
A political commitment to a continuous Tobacco Endgame strategy was first demanded in 2012 by NGO tobacco control organizations in Sweden. The suggested goal to be reached in 2025 is less than five per cent daily smokers in the population - to be achieved through the implementation of the FCTC measures.

Intervention or response:
Such a political decision, however, demands a broad and sustainable popular support. This has also been achieved mainly by NGOs on national, regional and local levels, resulting (in July 2017) in more than 160 organizations expressing their support to the endgame strategy. Most remarkably, all regional politically governed health care providers, realizing that they carry a substantial burden caused by smoking, are in favour of a strengthened strategy.

Results and lessons learnt:
The Public Health Minister has expressed his support to the endgame idea - and the goal (less than five per cent daily smokers) is indeed included in a 2016-2020 national strategy for the prevention of drug, alcohol and tobacco use, the supervisor of which is the National Public Health Agency. But a concrete government decision is still missing, including a firm action plan and an adequate financial investment.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Since the present minority government, despite substantial pro-health ambitions, has not been successful enough our advocacy focus will now be more directly extended to parliamentarians running for a seat in the 2018 general election. An interparty long-term agreement is a key factor in order to reach the endgame goal in Sweden.

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