Smoking is the largest avoidable cause of preventable morbidity and premature mortality worldwide. The prevalence of smoking worldwide is estimated at about one billion smokers, half of which will die prematurely as a consequence of their addiction, unless they quit. Smoking causes approximately 85% of the cases of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and contributes to the development of many other lung diseases. Therefore, the control of smoking and the active reduction of exposure to tobacco substances in the environment are considered as highly important interventions in lung disease.
According to World Health Organization (W.H.O) one third of the world adult population today, 1.1 billion people are smokers and 3.5 million deaths per year are attributed to smoking. It is estimated that in 2020 the number of deaths per year will be increased to 10 million. Smokers are 13 times more likely to die from COPD than nonsmokers.
Tobacco consumption is highly influenced by socioeconomic factors, affecting mostly low- and middle-income countries as well as vulnerable populations within high income countries. Additionally, smoking causes health inequality between gender and age groups4 while it significantly elevates the preventable morbidity and premature mortality worldwide.
The present project aims to address the effectiveness of a multi-level variety of intervention strategies aiming at smoking cessation in high risk target groups within High Middle Income Countries (HMIC) such as unemployed young adults, C.O.P.D. and asthma patients, as well as within the general population in Low Middle Income Countries (LMIC).
As the main effect of the recent economic crisis, in various European countries, is a significant increase of youth unemployment, the present project focuses in the way that this socioeconomic development affects the vulnerability of the young population. The project addresses existing approaches aiming to prevent and control lung diseases caused by tobacco consumption while at the same time it proposes the development of new treatments and analyzes their contextual adaptability to the local and global health care system as it is affected by the recent socioeconomic changes.