The Gap Between the Knowledge and Current Practices – a Case of Tobacco Control Programs in Croatia
Despite the availability of numerous evidence-based smoking prevention and cessation programs, many countries are still not implementing these research-proven programs. The primary aim of this paper is to summarize the extent to which evidence-based smoking control programs have been implemented in Croatia over the last two decades. Data from the systematic reviews of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, which are readily available worldwide, were used as criteria to evaluate whether effective, evidence-based programs have been implemented in Croatia. According to our findings, the most effective behavioral and pharmacological smoking cessation interventions have thus far been underutilized in Croatia. In addition, some interventions that have been continuously implemented in Croatia—such as using self-help materials, school-based programs and the celebration of World No Tobacco Day—have only small, short-term beneficial effects according to the Cochrane reviews. However, Croatia is a party to the World health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and therefore has effective national legislation on tobacco control. Croatia should develop and implement programs that integrate the existing high-quality empirical evidence on the effectiveness of various behavioral, pharmacological, and social interventions for smoking prevention and cessation. This programming should become a part of a continuous national strategy, and should be implemented throughout all of Croatia.
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