Global Bridges, Japan Cancer Society announce collaborative partnership

Global Bridges, based at Mayo Clinic, and the Japan Cancer Society are proud to announce a new collaborative partnership to build capacity for tobacco dependence treatment in Japan.

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In 2004, Japan became a party to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which enabled Japan to implement comprehensive tobacco control measures.  However, despite a recent decline, tobacco use remains high in Japan (over 30% smoking prevalence among men in 2014).  The Japanese Health Ministry recently called for comprehensive smoke-free regulation in public places in anticipation of hosting a global audience for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Para-Olympics in Tokyo.

The Japan Cancer Society has spearheaded nationwide cancer prevention efforts for more than 50 years and its mission includes working toward a tobacco-free society.  As the trend in Japan toward stronger tobacco policy continues, the two organizations have agreed to work together to identify opportunities to build tobacco dependence treatment capacity among healthcare professionals in Japan while promoting smoke-free environments.

“Tobacco dependence is the most preventable public health threat facing the global population, and healthcare providers need to be equipped to educate and empower smokers to quit,” said J. Taylor Hays, director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and chair of Global Bridges. “This partnership signifies a commitment to exploring the most effective, evidence-based ways to integrate treatment into practice in Japan and help people lead tobacco-free lives.”

“Cancer is the leading cause of death in Japan, and lung cancer mortality is still rising in Japan. Thus, a total 145,000 people are killed by tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure annually, which are preventable with a concerted effort.” said Dr. Tadao Kakizoe, president of the Japan Cancer Society and president emeritus of the National Cancer Center. “We are pleased to collaborate with international partners like Global Bridges to make progress towards a Tobacco-Free Japan.”

The initiative is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change (IGLC).

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About Global BridgesGlobal Bridges supports an international network of healthcare professionals and organizations dedicated to advancing effective tobacco dependence treatment and advocating for proven tobacco control policies. Since its inception in 2010, Global Bridges grantees and partners have created culturally-relevant training curricula based on established best practices and trained thousands of healthcare professionals from more than 60 countries. In partnership with funders such as Pfizer IGLC, Global Bridges offers competitive grant funding and guidance for evidence-based training. Mayo Clinic and the American Cancer Society, founding partners of Global Bridges, provide programmatic support.

About Japan Cancer Society: The Japan Cancer Society (JCS) is a nationwide civic organization that has been spearheading the private-sector fight against cancer in Japan. JCS was founded in 1958 to bring cancer under control.  Initially, the JCS concentrated on conducting a cancer prevention campaign to raise public awareness of cancer and urge the public to undergo cancer screening.  JCS has recently expanded its activities to the following projects: Relay for Life, Pink Ribbon Festival, cancer consultation, training programs at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Chicago, and cancer education to youth and children.