World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2011
The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
The poor are the most harmed
Tobacco use is growing fastest in low- and middle-income countries, owing to steady population growth and tobacco industry targeting. By 2030, more than 80% of the world’s tobacco-related deaths will be in these countries.
The costs related to tobacco use are significant. Most tobacco-related deaths occur among working-age adults. Those who do not succumb immediately often face prolonged disability. In the low-income countries, where health insurance is scarce or nonexistent, the direct health-care costs are frequently borne entirely by families. The economic impact of early death, disability and lost productivity contributes to the burden of poverty, retarding national development and further widening health inequities. This is especially true in the low- and middle-income countries, where resources for tobacco control are often limited. Therefore, tobacco control is not only a public health priority, but also a key development issue.