Governments, Health Organizations Should Strengthen Tobacco Control Policies

Project Syndicate: Seeing Through Big Tobacco’s Smokescreen
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general, and Tabaré Ramón Vázquez, president of Uruguay

“…Around the world, tobacco use kills more than seven million people annually. Enough is enough; at this critical moment, we must not let the momentum slip. Governments and health organizations like ours are at war with the tobacco industry, and we will continue fighting until we beat Big Tobacco. … Governments face a moral and legal imperative to use the strongest possible measures to protect their citizens from tobacco. One way forward would be for more governments to implement commitments enshrined in the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. … But more can be done, which is why we are calling on governments around the world to strengthen implementation of the WHO FCTC by accelerating action on the ‘MPOWER’ tobacco control policies — measures intended to strengthen country-level implementation of the WHO FCTC. … Moreover, governments should endorse the Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, which aims to prevent illicit trade, such as smuggling. … And, finally, looking ahead to the U.N.’s High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases in 2018, government leaders must be prepared to demonstrate their commitment to protecting people from heart and lung disease, cancer, and diabetes, by supporting stronger tobacco controls…” (12/19).