Other economic issues in tobacco control
Another important issue is employment. Many governments, especially those large producers of tobacco products and tobacco leaves, fear that tobacco control would generate unemployment among tobacco sector employees. However, it is important to note that the tobacco sector represents a small fraction of most countries' economies. Additionally, as the manufacturers are adopting state-of-the-art technology, the demand for labour in manufacturing has been diminishing. The World Bank says that for all but a very few agrarian countries heavily dependent on tobacco farming, there would be no net loss of jobs from tobacco control policies, and there might even be job gains if global tobacco consumption falls. Similarly, tobacco control is perceived to represent a threat to farmers whose economic condition is known to be usually precarious, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Global economic dynamics have led to a decrease in global prices for tobacco leaves, making the crop less attractive than before and increasing the need of preparing farmers to look at alternative livelihoods.
It is important to note that tobacco farming is associated with health and environmental risks that also need to be taken into account in tobacco control and in developing policies that reduce farmers' dependency on the tobacco crop. The working group on Economically Sustainable Alternatives to Tobacco Growing, established by the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, aims to develop appropriate tools and policy options and recommendations to countries willing to help tobacco farmers move to economically sustainable alternative livelihoods.