Tobacco use kills more than seven million people annually and costs over $1.4 trillion in healthcare expenditure and lost productivity, the World Health Organisation, WHO, says. The Director-General of WHO, Margaret Chan, gave the assessment ahead of World No Tobacco Day, marked annually on May 31, and which targets the threats tobacco poses to global development worldwide The UN health agency warned that tobacco’s killer toxins also wreak havoc on the environment. Stamping out tobacco use can save millions of lives and combat poverty, WHO said, spotlighting for the first time the ways in which tobacco affects human well-being from an environmental perspective caused by production, distribution and waste. “Tobacco threatens us all. Tobacco exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices and pollutes indoor air,” the WHO chief warned. WHO called on governments to implement strong tobacco control measures such as banning tobacco marketing and advertising, promoting plain product packaging, raising excise taxes and making indoor public places and workplaces smoke-free. “Many governments are taking action against tobacco, from banning advertising and marketing, to introducing plain packaging for tobacco products, and smoke-free work and public places,” Oleg Chestnov, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and Mental Health, said. For the first time, a WHO report links the impact of tobacco to nature and the environment, pointing out that tobacco waste contains over 7,000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment.

No Comments

Leave a Comment