International Community Must Support National-Level Implementation Of FCTC To Address Tobacco-Related Cancer

Devex: Opinion: Action to tackle tobacco in LMICs a moral and strategic imperative
Laura Hucks, senior program manager with Cancer Research U.K.’s international tobacco control program

“…The apathy toward [non-communicable diseases (NCDs)] in [low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)] is not acceptable, and there is an urgent need for investment in prevention and control. … Not all cancers are preventable, but around four in 10 are, and there are clear actions we can take. Our starting point is tobacco — responsible for 22 percent of cancer deaths globally. … [S]hifts at the national level are critical. But we also need to see a shift in the wider international development narrative, because we know that — for good or for ill — it is this narrative that influences spending priorities in both developed and developing countries. Implementation of the [the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)] is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent the growing cancer burden. Even so, it still requires some resources. … It is high time we came together and rallied around the tobacco control strategy — only a concerted effort will begin to stem the tide” (8/1).