Sadly, about 6 million people die from tobacco use annually. This number is expected to increase to 8 million annually by the year 2030. Each year, on May 31, the World Health Organization and other organizations around the world advocate for providing education on the risks associated with tobacco use, along with helping to implement policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Each year, there is a different theme, and this year, the theme is “Tobacco-a threat to development”.
The goal for this campaign is to shed light on the links between tobacco products and sustainable development, encourage countries to include tobacco control,combat tobacco industry interference in political processes, encourage broader public and partner participation in national, regional and global efforts to develop and implement development strategies, and lastly, demonstrate how individuals can contribute to making the world tobacco free. The WHO calls on countries to prioritize all tobacco control efforts as a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With countries around the world taking on the tobacco epidemic, they are protecting their citizens from the harms of tobacco and reducing the economic toll on it takes national economies.
With cancer being one of the most well known facts related to the use of tobacco, there are other less known facts. For instance, tobacco use costs economies massively with increased health-care costs and decreased productivity. Astonishingly, about 80% of premature deaths caused by tobacco occur in low or middle-income countries, which face challenges in achieving their development goals. In order to grow tobacco, pesticides and fertilizers must be used which can be toxic and pollute water supplies.