Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, says tobacco use is a barrier to sustainable development on all fronts.
He made the remark in Cape Town, South Africa, March 7 during the 17th World Conference on Health or Tobacco, WCTOH. The event is placed under the theme: “Uniting the World for a Tobacco Free Generation.”
During the event, the WHO Director joined various speakers to appeal for a renewed focus on tobacco control policies to help users quit and to prevent non-users from becoming addicted.
Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies, all organisers of the event said, “international collaboration is vital for tracking tobacco use, which remains the world’s leading preventable cause of death, killing more than seven million people each year.”
They disclosed that global tobacco control measures have saved nearly 35 million lives around the world, even though; tobacco industry is pushing to find new users.
Various participants attended the event were of the opinion that the event will serve as avenue “to address this epidemic by working together to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure. Tobacco has no benefits to humanity whatsoever as the tobacco industry is poisoning people to death,”
Given that tobacco use kills more than seven million people worldwide each year, stakeholders at the event proposed that to save lives, governments across the globe must stand up to the tobacco industry and fully implement the proven strategies called for by the tobacco control treaty, the FCTC. These include significant tobacco tax increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws, advertising bans and large, graphic health warnings.
“Now is the time for leaders to implement strong policies proven to protect their citizens from tobacco,” he appealed.