Tobacco control is a field of international public health science, policy and practice dedicated to restricting the growth of tobacco use and thereby reducing the morbidity and mortality it causes. Tobacco control is a priority area for the World Health Organization (WHO), through the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Health policy can be defined as the "decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific health care goals within a society." According to the World Health Organization, an explicit health policy can achieve several things: it defines a vision for the future; it outlines priorities and the expected roles of different groups; and it builds consensus and informs people.
There are many categories of health policies, including personal health care policy, pharmaceutical policy, and policies related to public health such as vaccination policy, tobacco control policy or breastfeeding promotion policy. They may cover topics of financing and delivery of health care, access to care, quality of care, and health equity.
Tobacco production in Malawi is one of the nation's largest sources of income. As of 2005, Malawi was the 12th largest producer of tobacco leaves and the 7th largest global supporter of tobacco leaves. As of 2010, Malawi was the world's leading producer of burley leaf tobacco. With the decline of tobacco farms in the West, interest in Malawi's low-grade, high-nicotine tobacco has increased. Today, Malawian tobacco is found in blends of nearly every cigarette smoked in industrialized nations including the popular and ubiquitous Camel and Marlboro brands. It is the world's most tobacco dependent economy.
Tobacco is the agricultural product of the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. All species of Nicotiana contain the recreational drug nicotine—a stimulant and sedative contained in all parts of the plants except the seeds—which occurs in varying amounts depending on the species and variety cultivated. It is thought that an interaction between nicotine and MAOI beta-carbolines found in tobacco account for the addictive properties of its use.
Tobacco is primarily derived from the species Nicotiana tabacum, although it is also produced from Nicotiana alata, and to a lesser extent Nicotiana clevelandii, Nicotiana longiflora, Nicotiana rustica, and others.