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Tobacco: a threat to development

01 Jun 2017

The World Health Organization hosted a side event at the World Health Assembly on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day. Held annually on 31 May, the day’s key themes are to protect health, reduce poverty and promote development.

The event featured panelists from the governments of Panama, Italy and the Philippines, as well as from the Secretariats of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and WHO.

Chandra Kishore Mishra – President of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC – underlined the threat tobacco consumption poses to sustainable development, noting its effect on lost productivity and contribution to deforestation.

H.E. Maurizio Enrico Serra, the Italian Ambassador to the UN, emphasized the potential of tobacco taxation to contribute to domestic resources, while Dr Maria Luisa Silva – from the UN Development Programme – warned of the need to protect against industry’s ‘predatory marketing strategies’ in low- and lower middle-income countries.

Summarizing the goal of World No Tobacco Day, Dr Mishra concluded: ‘it’s about health, it’s about economy, it’s about prosperity’.