Experts from around the world have come together at the World Heart Federation’s World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health to call for more to be done to fight tobacco industry interference and strengthen tobacco control laws.
Smoking is estimated to cause nearly 10 per cent of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and is the second leading cause of CVD after high blood pressure.
Strengthening tobacco control laws is one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to save lives and improve the health of populations, but unfortunately the tobacco industry continues to try to block tobacco control legislation using tactics such as encouraging the illicit tobacco trade, attempting to hijack legislation or exploit loopholes, exaggerating the economic importance of the industry and discrediting scientific research.
Sharing his personal experience of implementing some of the most stringent tobacco control measures in the world, President Vazquez of Uruguay said: “Tobacco consumption causes 6 million deaths every year and has resulted in cumulative damage to public health for over 60 years. We have approached this battle very seriously in Uruguay and I’m pleased to say, as a direct result, have reduced tobacco consumption among young people from 22.8% to 8.2% in less than 10 years.”
While in Mexico the World Heart Federation will aim to leave a lasting legacy by using its Congress as a platform to support adoption of a national tobacco control law, supporting the #LibredeHumo campaign to make Mexico smoke-free.
Dr Salim Yusuf, President of the World Heart Federation said: “The World Heart Federation is committed to reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025 and reducing tobacco use by 30% or more is key to saving millions of lives.
“To enable this we need to persuade political leaders to stand firm in the face of pressure from the tobacco industry.”