Tobacco use is a global epidemic, and the problem is getting worse rapidly as the tobacco industry penetrates the developing world. Here are some sobering facts.
- There are 1.3 billion tobacco users in the world. This number is expected to increase to 1.6 billion over the next two decades.
- The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world’s first public health treaty, is one of the most universal treaties in existence, with 176 Parties representing over 87% of global population. The United States has not ratified the FCTC.
- Addiction to tobacco impacts poverty and development. In poorer countries, up to 30% of income is spent on tobacco, reducing funds available for nutrition, education and health care. Learn more about Tobacco and Global Development>
- In the United States, each pack of cigarettes sold costs society an estimated $18.05.
- 100 million people died from tobacco-related diseases in the 20th century. Without action taken, 1 billion people could die this century from tobacco-related diseases. (Eriksen M. et al. The Tobacco Atlas. Fifth Ed. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer society; 2015.)
- There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. (Hear from our late supporter Forrest whose doctor didn’t believe he’d never smoked before.)
- In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer. In infants, it causes sudden death. In pregnant women, it causes low birth weight. Residual, or thirdhand, smoke is also dangerous.
- Tobacco kills up to 50% of its users.
The World Lacks Protection from Tobacco
- Under 11% of the world’s population are protected by comprehensive national smoke-free laws.
- National comprehensive health-care services supporting cessation are available in only 19 countries, representing 14% of the world’s population.
- Just 19 countries, representing 15% of the world’s population, meet the best practice for pictorial warnings, which includes the warnings in the local language and cover an average of at least half of the front and back of cigarette packs. No low-income country meets this best-practice level. Forty-two countries, representing 42% of the world’s population, mandate pictorial warnings.
- Only 19 countries, representing 6% of the world’s population, have reached the highest level of achievement in banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
- Around 38% of countries have minimal or no restrictions at all on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
- Only 27 countries, representing less than 8% of the world’s population, have tobacco tax rates greater than 75% of the retail price.
- Tobacco tax revenues are on average 154 times higher than spending on tobacco control, based on available data.
The Tobacco Epidemic is Widespread
- Nearly 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
- Consumption of tobacco products is increasing globally, though it is decreasing in some high-income and upper middle-income countries.
THERE IS A SOLUTION!
Implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
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