WHO condemns tobacco industry’s manipulation of medical education

The World Health
Organization (WHO) expresses grave concern over the tobacco industry’s
manipulative tactics aimed at influencing healthcare providers through continuing
medical education programmes and thereby advancing the interests of the tobacco

In this regard,
WHO acknowledges the decision made by Medscape (an online resource for medical
news and educational content tailored for healthcare professionals) to
permanently remove a series of accredited medical education courses on smoking
cessation funded by Philip Morris International.

WHO underlines
the critical need for transparency and ethical standards in medical training
and supports calls for certification bodies to avert any partnerships with
tobacco and related industries in medical education to stop dissemination of
biased information that could hinder public health efforts.

WHO calls upon
governments to enforce comprehensive bans on all types of tobacco advertising,
promotion and sponsorship, in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control as well as national laws of many countries where sponsorship of medical
education is illegal.

WHO also
encourages healthcare professionals to remain vigilant against conflicts of
interest and attempts to promote consumer products that may perpetuate nicotine
addiction and undermine tobacco control efforts, and urges healthcare providers
and certification bodies to focus on evidence-based education and policies that
prioritize public health not commercial interests.

For more
information on e-cigarettes and quitting tobacco use, please visit https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/tobacco-e-cigarettes ; https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/electronic-cigarettes—call-to-action and https://www.who.int/activities/quitting-tobacco.

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