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WHO launches mHealth initiative to stop smoking

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is instigating a new tobacco free Initiative and is looking to work with governments, public and private sectors to develop cost-effective solutions for tobacco control using mobile technology.
Consideration of the devastation which tobacco use has brought about has led the WHO to class it as  one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. 
And the organisation believes that mobile communication has, as yet, been underused as a method to bring tobacco use under control and provide support and services to developed and developing-country citizens.
In the developing world, between 2009-2011, the WHO has found global reports on existing mhealth projects with hundreds of pilots, but nothing on tobacco control. So it's looking to build on mHealth projects from communicable diseases and bring together  tobacco control and mHealth players to develop successful interventions.
It believes that social networks and the use of SMS messages have, for instance, proved to be successful in stopping smoking. These methods can provide low-cost, personalised and interactive support, information on medication, tips, games, apps and encouragement.
Aside from other benefits, tobacco control measures could also provide useful data on everything from the efficacy of PR to social change.
Additionally, mobile networks can give WHO, and its partners, access to the largest market in the world. Anti-smoking messages and counter marketing work can thus have a far greater reach than through TV, print or other media campaigns.
For further information and assistance to develop project ideas and advice on funding opportunities for this work please contact: tfi@who.int
 
Also in mHealth news, watch this inspiring video, shot during last month’s Grand Tour - an epic 13-day, 2,100 km cycling challenge from Brussels to Barcelona, organised by the GMSA to raise awareness of diabetes and showcase the power of mobile health solutions. 168 riders from 23 nationalities took part in the gruelling ride.
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