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J Environ Public Health. 2018 Mar 22;2018:8429738. doi: 10.1155/2018/8429738. eCollection 2018.

Tobacco Dependence Treatment Grants: A Collaborative Approach to the Implementation of WHO Tobacco Control Initiatives.

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Department of Anesthesia, Nicotine Dependence Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
Nicotine Dependence Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
Department of Medicine, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
Department of General Internal Medicine, Nicotine Dependence Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.


The number of global tobacco-related deaths is projected to increase from about 6 million to 8 million annually by 2030, with more than 80% of these occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) came into force in 2005 and Article 14 relates specifically to the treatment of tobacco dependence. However, LMICs, in particular, face several barriers to implementing tobacco dependence treatment. This paper is a descriptive evaluation of a novel grant funding mechanism that was initiated in 2014 to address these barriers. Global Bridges. Healthcare Alliance for Tobacco Dependence Treatment aims to create and mobilize a global network of healthcare professionals and organizations dedicated to advancing evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment and advocating for effective tobacco control policy. A 2014 request for proposals (RFP) focused on these goals, particularly in LMICs, where funding for this work had been previously unavailable. 19 grants were awarded by Global Bridges to organizations in low- and middle-income countries across all six WHO regions. Virtually all focused on developing a tobacco dependence treatment curriculum for healthcare providers, while also influencing the political environment for Article 14 implementation. As a direct result of these projects, close to 9,000 healthcare providers have been trained in tobacco dependence treatment and an estimated 150,000 patients have been offered treatment. Because most of these projects are designed with a "train-the-trainer" component, two years of grant funding has been a tremendous catalyst for accelerating change in tobacco dependence treatment practices throughout the world. In order to foster such exponential growth and continue to maintain the impact of these projects, ongoing financial, educational, and professional commitments are required.

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