Syndicate content

tobacco

Tripling tobacco taxes: Key for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

Prabhat Jha's picture

Also available in: Spanish العربية | Français

World Bank Group / 2013


Since the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) a decade ago, over 180 countries have signed the treaty. Progress has been made in expanding the coverage of effective interventions--more than half of the world’s countries, with 40% of the world’s population have implemented at least one tobacco control measure, and despite increasing global population, smoking prevalence has decreased slightly worldwide from 23% of adults in 2007 to 21% of adults in 2013. How can greater reductions in smoking be achieved in the next decade and contribute to reaching the health and social targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030? We review some key issues in the epidemiology and economics of global tobacco control.

Uruguay: una gran victoria para la prevención del “suicidio” causado por el tabaquismo

Patricio V. Marquez's picture
Also available in: English


El tabaco es sin duda uno  de los riesgos  más importantes para la salud pública que nos toca enfrentar. A partir de la publicación del emblemático Informe del Cirujano General de Estados Unidos de 1964 acerca de los daños a la salud atribuibles al consumo de tabaco que proporcionó la evidencia que relacionaba al tabaquismo con enfermedades de casi todos los órganos del cuerpo (véase el gráfico abajo), la comunidad internacional comenzó lentamente a darse cuenta que la larga epidemia del hábito de fumar cigarrillos estaba causando una enorme catástrofe en materia de salud pública en todo el mundo, y que esta se podía prevenir.

Uruguay: A giant leap to prevent tobacco-assisted suicide

Patricio V. Marquez's picture
Also available in: Español



Tobacco is arguably one of the most significant threats to public health we have ever faced. Since the publication of the landmark U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco and Health in 1964, that provided evidence linking smoking to diseases of nearly all organs of the body (see graph below), the international community slowly began to realize that a century-long epidemic of cigarette smoking was causing an enormous, avoidable public health catastrophe across the world.

Running away from “Tobacco Road”

Patricio V. Marquez's picture
Image: Patricio Marquez

Earlier this fall, my oldest son invited me to watch him run his first half marathon in Durham, North Carolina. While standing at the starting line, facing hundreds of runners of different ages, I could not help but be amazed by the irony of the situation:  In the midst of a region in the United States known as “tobacco road,” there was tangible evidence of a significant, healthier turn in people’s norms and behaviors.

Making the public health case for tobacco taxation

Patricio V. Marquez's picture

WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2015 Let’s be clear.  Tobacco use, and its negative health, social and economic impact, is not a global problem that is simply going away.

As documented in a recent study, despite significant reductions in the estimated prevalence of daily smoking observed at the global level for both men and women since 1980, the actual number of smokers has increased significantly over the last three decades as the result of population growth.  In 2012, it is estimated that close to one billion people were smokers, up from 721 million in 1980.

Clearly, tobacco use is a global epidemic. If we do not want to be passive spectators to the unhindered growth of this threat to global health, then political will at the highest levels of government needs to be galvanized, coupled with sustained support from civil society and international organizations.  This is required not only to shine light upon this deadly but entirely preventable threat, but more importantly, to promote effective and sustained action to deal with it.

A new World Health Organization (WHO) report on tobacco taxation, launched today in Manila, raises a troubling question for policymakers across the world:  If, as shown by scientific evidence, tobacco is a leading global disease risk factor, why then are so few governments levying appropriate levels of tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products? 
 

World No Tobacco Day 2015: On illicit trade and taxes

Patricio V. Marquez's picture



On May 31, the global health community will mark World No Tobacco Day 2015.  This year’s theme focuses on the public health priority of stopping the illicit trade of tobacco products.  Perhaps this is a good occasion to clarify that raising tobacco taxes to make this habit-forming product unaffordable is not the cause of illicit trade.  Let me explain.

Is Unemployment Bad for Your Health?

Patricio V. Marquez's picture



The media have been reporting these days that the U.S. economy continues to grow, and more people are being hired each month, bringing the unemployment rate down to 5.6%--a level not seen since the late 1990s.  Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, the negative impact of the 2008 Great Recession continues to be felt. Among some European Union countries, the share of the unemployed remains at unprecedented high levels, particularly among young adults.  In Spain and Greece, for example, the unemployment rate is about 25%. 

The seven salvos of sin (taxes)

Jim Brumby's picture


Tobacco kills one-third to one-half of all people who use it, on average 15 years prematurely.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has a target of a 30% reduction in smokers by 2025; but this is one target that would be great to exceed. Alcohol-attributable cancer, liver cirrhosis, and injury caused 1.5 million deaths globally in 2010.

Recently, the representatives of ministries of finance and ministries of health, as well as a host of civil society organizations and international organizations, met in Manila to consider lessons to be drawn from the international experience surrounding so-called sin taxes.

Pages