Health must become a priority. The time is now,” said global tobacco control advocates in the Framework Convention Alliance video. They emphasize the importance of this year, 2015, and that leaders must raise their ambitions for humanity. They also encourage the general public to stand up and speak out.

The global tobacco control community created this video for the Action/2015 campaign that launched on January 15th, 2015 and runs through September.

The Action/2015 campaign promotes ambitious global goals to target poverty, inequality, environmental destruction, and human development.

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly will finalize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will replace the Millennium Development Goals, expiring this year. These new goals will set national development agendas for the next 15 years and beyond.

The tobacco control community aims to ensure the inclusion of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in the SDGs as one of the best methods to improve global health.

Health is a major part of sustainable development and must be highlighted in the post-2015 development agenda. Tobacco is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, killing over 6 million people a year. In the 20th century alone, tobacco use killed 100 million people. If we don’t take action, tobacco will kill 1 billion people this century. The majority of those projected deaths will occur in low and middle-income countries, now a main target of the tobacco industry, which has shifted its efforts as smoking rates have fallen in the developed world.

Governments can prevent these hundreds of millions of premature tobacco-related deaths by implementing the FCTC. The FCTC has 180 Parties, representing nearly 90% of the world’s population. This unique public health treaty includes low-cost policy measures that are proven to decrease tobacco use. Implementing the FCTC is globally recognized as the best of the “best buys” for tackling the fast-rising epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which cause nearly 2/3 of global deaths.

Specifically, the FCTC’s measures include raising tobacco taxes, a win-win solution for health, development, and governments. Higher taxes lead to reduced tobacco consumption, in turn cutting the damage, disease, and death caused by tobacco use. Increased tobacco taxes would also generate revenue for cash-strapped governments.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Shana Narula, Campaign Coordinator, narulas@ash.org.

Please consider supporting ASH’s work on the post-2015 development agenda by clicking here.

For more information:

http://ash.org/programs/tobacco-poverty/

http://ash.org/3159-2/

http://ash.org/resources/global-development-resource/