Statement to the Fourth Human Rights Council intersessional meeting for Dialogue and Cooperation on Human Rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (18 January 2022)
On behalf of Action on Smoking and Health and 30 signatory organizations I would like to take a moment to draw attention to the importance of addressing the negative impact tobacco has on human rights and the 2030 development agenda.
Tobacco remains the leading cause of global preventable death. Left unchecked, tobacco will kill 1 billion people this century with approximately 80% of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial tobacco and the actions of the tobacco industry have been even more of a hurdle to achieving human rights and development goals. Tobacco is a known risk factor for respiratory diseases and recent evidence strongly suggests that smokers are up to 50% more likely to have worse outcomes from COVID-19. In addition to the human cost, tobacco costs the global economy up to two percent of its GDP.
The evidence-based measures set out in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (the FCTC) such as increasing taxes on tobacco products have been identified by the World Health Organization as “best buys” for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. These best practices will help states achieve development goals and save lives. This potential impact was recognized by UN Member States when they included Target 3.A in the SDGs, calling on countries to strengthen the implementation of the FCTC, and we urge this intersessional meeting to continue that focus.
Tobacco exacerbates inequalities, perpetuates poverty, and is a barrier to achieving development as well as a barrier to achieving the right to health. By accelerating the implementation of the FCTC, the world will also accelerate progress towards the SDGs and human rights goals.
Action on Smoking and Health
Ärzte gegen Raucherschäden
African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA)
Alliance Contre le Tabac (ACT)
ASH Scotland (UK)
Association Health Mission, Belgrade
Austrian Council on Smoking and Health
Cancer Research UK
Cancer Society of Finland
DNF (Demain sera Non-Fumeur)
Fresh (Making Smoking History)
Health Funds for a Smokefree Netherlands
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Israel Cancer Association
Norwegian Cancer Society
Slovenian Coalition for Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control
Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance
Smoke-free Life Coalition
Smoke Free Partnership
STOP: A Tobacco Industry Watch Dog
Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum
Te Ao Hurihuri
Tobacco Free Association of Zambia
Tobacco Free Portfolios
University of Campinas (Brazil) Laboratrãio de Polãticas Pãoblicas e Planejamento Educacional