On World No Tobacco Day on May 31, 2017, Shin Young-soo, regional director in charge of the Western Pacific of the WHO said that tobacco has an extremely negative impact on the health of a person and also on the society, environment, and economy. He also added that the expenditure involved in treating the illness caused by consumption of tobacco can devastate families and even have a fallout on the society. Mr. Shin felt that it is high time to treat the matter seriously and cut down tobacco consumption.
WHO Frames Interventions to Prevent Tobacco Use
As per WHO, healthcare costs pertaining to smoking totals almost $422 billion annually worldwide. The indirect costs, according to WHO, are even higher, with lost productivity on account of illness and premature death valued at over $1 trillion annually.
The United Nations body also observed that tobacco consumption has a detrimental effect on environment. Tobacco farming and the high dosage of pesticides that it requires, for example, pose a hazard to the environment.
The WHO announced that its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) comprises several interventions to bring down tobacco use. Some such interventions are increasing the taxes and prices of tobacco and tobacco products, creating smoke-free public places, ban on all types of tobacco advertising, sponsorship, and promotion, warnings about the ill-effects of tobacco use, and offer of help to smokers wanting to quit.
The Convention has been ratified by all nations in the Western Pacific and is the world’s first global health treaty.