World No-Tobacco Day: 'Tobacco Control and Poverty'

Article excerpt

IN the last half century, tobacco smoking has killed more than 60 million people. If the current trend continues, tobacco smoking will snuff out the lives of a hundred million people in the first 20 years of the 21st century.

Its economic cost is equally devastating. In addition to its high public costs, tobaccorelated diseases kill people at the height of their productivity, depriving families of a bread winner and a nation of its healthy workforce.

By its nature alone, tobacco contains lethal substances that are a great threat to ones health. When we speak of a global tobacco epidemic from a public health perspective, we see much unnecessary suffering, disability, and sickness, extinguished lives, and damaged families. Tobacco consumption by the young has increased and has led nations to address the human consequences of an epidemic that has afflicted particularly developing countries where tobacco products are now being exported.

Among the world agencies which have provided a global beacon of hope on tobacco control are the World Health Organization and the United Nations, both of which have played an active role in encouraging nations to be vigilant about tobacco control. …