Globally tobacco kills 6 million people each year, of that more than 600,000 are non-smokers affected by second-hand smoke. Without action, by 2030 the epidemic will kill more than 8 million per year and more than 80% of those deaths will be of those living in low- and middle-income countries.
On May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) and it's partners recognize World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). This year, the focus is on ending the illegal trade of tobacco products worldwide.
Although it may seem like small problem, illegal tobacco trade affects health as well as economic growth and illegal tobacco sales aren't just happening in some countries. Almost all countries worldwide are affected by illegal tobacco trade with as much as one in every 10 cigarettes consumed globally.
The World No Tobacco Day 2015 campaign is focusing it's efforts on the 5 main goals below.
- Raise awareness on the harm to people's health caused by the illicit trade in tobacco products, especially the youth and low-income groups, due to the increased accessibility and affordability of these products due to their lower costs.
- Show how health care gains and programs, tobacco control policies, like increased tax and prices, pictorial health warnings and other measures are undermined by the illicit trade in tobacco products.
- Demonstrate how the tobacco industry has been involved in the illicit trade of tobacco products.
- Highlight how the illicit trade of tobacco products is a means of amassing great wealth for criminal groups to finance other organized crime activities, including drugs, human and arms trafficking, as well as terrorism
- Promote the ratification of, accession to and use of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products by all Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and its early entry into force through the active involvement of all relevant stakeholders.
Join the campaign and raise awareness through social media to amp up the message and help curb illegal tobacco trade.
This blog is a summary of information from the WHO World No Tobacco Day 2015 Campaign. To learn more visit, http://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2015/en/.