Health Ministers Vow to Resist Tobacco Industry Pressure and Support Efforts to Reduce Tobacco Use

ImagenCigarette makers and their allies try to block legislation aimed at reducing tobacco consumption and exposure to second-hand smoke.

Ministers of Health called on PAHO to help strengthen their ability to implement tobacco control measures, particularly those contained in the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

The FCTC is the first international public health treaty and was adopted by WHO Member States in 2003. It contains provisions on labeling and packaging of tobacco products, smoke-free public spaces, tobacco tax increases, and restrictions on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Tobacco is the world’s leading preventable cause of death and the only product that kills when used exactly as the manufacturer intends. Worldwide, more than 5 million people die from tobacco each year—more than from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. While tobacco consumption has declined in a number of high-income countries, it is growing in most low- and middle-income countries, which are least prepared to deal with the consequences.

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