Smoking is bad for you. Everyone knows that, even people who smoke all the time. Smoking can and more than likely will end up being the end of you, even if you do it rarely. So, why hasn’t your government stepped in and helped you quit, when it knows quitting could be beneficial for everyone involved. Most people would answer that it’d cost too much. Most people would be wrong.

In a huge new review written by a slew of experts and published in the medical journal Addiction, researchers state that every country in the world can afford to help its citizens quit smoking. That’s right, from the Central Republic of Africa to Qatar, every single country in the world can help end smoking — if only they’d open their wallets.

The study looked at a wide range of options health care systems in different countries could afford to put into their plans to help smokers stop. It looked at how effective and how cost-effective they were, and stated how governments and health care administrators could calculate the cost of all the treatments. That way, each country could find a stop-smoking treatment that was cost effective for them and affordable for their citizens.

The review discovered that Cytisine, which is only available in certain Eastern European countries, would be affordable to even the poorest of countries. The medicine has shown that it is effective when helping smokers quit. All that it would need is approval from the medicine’s regulators.

The review also discovered that if every single health care worker in the world was given the proper training to help advise their patients to stop smoking, even if it took just a few minutes every day, it could save thousands of lives at nearly no cost.

“Many governments have started to introduce measures — such as increasing taxes and restricting smoking in public places — measures which make smokers want to stop,” said Professor Robert West, lead author of the report, in a statement. “However, few countries are actively supporting smokers to stop. Our report shows that every country in the world could be doing something. The more a country does, the more of their citizens' lives they will protect."

Lots has been done to prevent people from smoking — tax increases, banning smoking in certain places, endless commercials and media campaigns, to name a few — but smoking still kills an estimated six million people every day. Now that an outline has been written to show a way toward a smoke-free future, will governments be brave enough to follow it?

Source: West, R. Raw, M. McNeill, A. Stead, L. Aveyard, P. Britton, J. Stapleton, J. McRobbie, H. Pokhrel, S. Lester-George, A. Borland, R. Healthcare interventions to promote and assist tobacco cessation: a review of efficacy, effectiveness and affordability for use in national guideline development. Addiction. 2015