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Country Fact Sheet

Congo

Harm

Tobacco harms the health, the treasury, and the spirit of the Congo. Every year more than 1190 of it's people are killed by tobacco-caused disease, while more than 21600 children and more than 223000 adults continue to use tobacco each day. Complacency in the face of the tobacco epidemic will ensure the tobacco industry continues to run roughshod over the lives of the Congo's citizens and ensure that tobacco's death toll will grow with each passing year. Tobacco control advocates must reach out to other communities to strengthen their efforts in this mortal fight.

Deaths

% caused by tobacco: 2010

4.2% of Men

Even though fewer men die on average in the Congo than other middle-income countries, still 18 men are being killed by tobacco every week, necessitating action from policymakers.

1.5% of Women

Even though fewer women die on average in the Congo than other middle-income countries, still 5 women are being killed by tobacco every week, necessitating action from policymakers.

Tobacco use also...

Harms Development

Buying tobacco robs families of the resources they need to rise out of poverty. A smoker in the Congo would have to spend 8.9% the of national median income to purchase 10 of the cheapest cigarettes to smoke each day!

Harms Environment

Cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded piece of waste worldwide. It is estimated that 1.69 billion pounds of butts wind up as toxic trash, which is roughly equivalent to the weight of 177,895 endangered African elephants.

Harms Equality

To find more customers, the tobacco industry markets its products aggressively to women and children.

Harms NCDs

People living with mental illness are nearly twice as likely to smoke as other persons.

Industry

The combined revenues of the world's 6 largest tobacco companies in 2013 was USD342 Billion, 97% larger than the Gross National Income of the Congo. The industry is a powerful force that does not fear the actions of nation-states because their resources are often much larger.

Market

Adult Smoking % using tobacco daily, 2013

16.2%of Men

Even though fewer men smoke on average in the Congo than on average in middle-income countries, still 205700 men still smoke cigarettes each day, the sign of an ongoing and dire public health threat.

1.4%of Female

Even though fewer women smoke on average in the Congo than on average in middle-income countries, still 17800 women still smoke cigarettes each day, the sign of an ongoing and dire public health threat.

Children Smoking % using tobacco daily, 2013

11.3%of Boys

More boys smoke in the Congo than on average in middle-income countries.

5%of Girls

More girls smoke in the Congo than on average in middle-income countries.

Smokeless% currently using tobacco, 2013 or most recent

5.2%of Adults

Even though fewer people use smokless tobacco on average in the Congo than on average in middle-income countries, still 131200 people currently use smokeless tobacco, the sign of an ongoing and dire public health threat.

Solutions

Tobacco control policy is an excellent investment in the health of a country's population. According to the WHO, for less than CFA 123 per person per year the Congo will be able to pay for the four 'best buys' in tobacco control policy, raising tobacco excise taxes, enforcing a comprehensive national smoke-free law and a ban on tobacco advertising and promotion, and mandating large graphic warning labels appear on tobacco product packaging. This small investment will reap enormous dividends in health and prosperity.

Current Policy in the Congo

Protect From Smoke

Smokefree HealthCare FacilitiesYes
Smokefree UniversitiesYes
Smokefree Government FacilitiesYes
Smokefree Indoor OfficesYes
Smokefree RestaurantsYes
Smokefree Pubs and BarsYes
Smokefree Public TransportYes
All Other Indoor Public Places SmokefreeYes
Funds for Smokefree EnforcementYes

Offer Help

Quitting SolutionsNRT and/or some cessation services (at least one of which is cost-covered)
National QuitlineNo

Warn about the dangers to tobacco users on product packaging

Type of Warning Labels

Australia(best practice)

Graphic

Congo

Graphic

Percent of Pack Covered

Australia(best practice)

82.5%

Congo

30%

Graphic Warning Rounds

Australia(best practice)

2

Congo

No Data

Has Plain/Standardized Packaging

Australia(best practice)

Yes

Congo

No

Warn about the dangers to whole population in a media campaign

Ran a national anti-tobacco campaign during 2011 and 2012

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Congo

No Data

Part Of A Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Congo

N/A

Pre-Tested With The Target Audience

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Congo

N/A

Target Audience Research Was Conducted

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Congo

N/A

Aired On Television And/Or Radio

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Congo

N/A

Utilized Media Planning

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Congo

N/A

Earned Media/Public Relations Were Used To Promote The Campaign

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Congo

N/A

Process Evaluation Was Used To Assess Implementation

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Congo

N/A

Outcome Evaluation Was Used To Assess Effectiveness

WHO Best Practice

Yes

Congo

N/A

Enforce bans on advertising

Number of Bans on Forms of Direct Advertising5 of a possible 7 bans
Number of Bans on Forms of Indirect Advertising1 of a possible 7 bans
Ad Ban Compliance Percent0% self-rated compliance

Raise Taxes

Excise Tax as a % of Cigarette Price

WHO Benchmark

75% of Retail Price is Excise Tax

Congo

20.92% of Retail Price is Excise Tax

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