Background By 2030, the tobacco epidemic will be responsible for over eight million deaths worldwide per year, with 80% of those deaths occurring in low-resource countries. Despite the magnitude of the problem, little is known about the funding for global tobacco control.
Methods To estimate the amount of tobacco control funding, we created an integrated database based on information provided by tobacco control donors. We focus on resources available to low-income and middle-income countries provided as Development Assistance to Control Tobacco (DACT).
Results Global DACT grew from US$1.2 million in 2000 to US$44.2 million in 2009, primarily due to contributions from private philanthropies. Average annual 2000–2009 funding amounted to about US$0.003 per adult (US$0.0003 per adult in 2000 and US$0.011 per adult in 2009). DACT has been supplemented by domestic public funding that reached US$0.009 per adult in 2008. 28% of emerging and developing countries received zero DACT and 15% of those countries reported no funding at all. Out of US$21.8 billion disbursed in 2007 for health-related development assistance, DACT represented only US$0.02 billion, or 0.09%.
Conclusions Since the funding for both infectious and non-communicable diseases in low-resourced countries is inadequate, the solution for global tobacco control is not to shift resources from other public health priorities, but rather to generate additional tobacco control funding. Several mechanisms to achieve this goal are proposed.
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Funding This study was supported by funding from the American Cancer Society and the Research for International Tobacco Control (RITC).
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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