WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2011

…Warning about the dangers of tobacco

Tobacco use continues to be the leading global cause of preventable death. It kills nearly 6 million people and causes hundreds of billions of dollars of economic damage worldwide each year. Most of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and this disparity is expected to widen further over the next several decades. If current trends continue, by 2030 tobacco will kill more than 8 million people worldwide each year, with 80% of these premature deaths among people living inlow- and middle-income countries. Over the course of the 21st century, tobacco use could kill a billion people or more unless urgent action is taken.

This report, the third periodic country-level examination of the global tobacco epidemic, identifies the countries that have applied effective tobacco control measures that save lives. These countries can be held up as models of action for the many countries that need to do more to protect their people from the harms of tobacco use.

19 countries with more than a billion people now have pack warning laws at the highest level of achievement in this policy area.

Many people are unaware of the harms of tobacco use. Knowledge about the harms of tobacco is higher in countries with tobacco package warnings.

 

Second-hand smoke kills – Smoke-free laws save lives

Diseases caused by smoking and exposure to second hand smoke

 

Completely smoke-free environments with no exceptions are the only proven way to protect people from second-hand smoke.

 

Twenty-three countries, totalling more than 1.9 billion people, have conducted national anti-tobacco mass media campaigns.

The WHO fCTC (World Health Organization framework Convention on Tobacco Control) demonstrates continued global commitment to decisive action against the global tobacco epidemic, which kills millions of people and costs hundreds of billions of dollars each year. A total of 173 Parties to the WHO fCTC, covering about 87% of the world’s population, have made a legally binding commitment to implement effective tobacco control policies.

Although there has been substantial progress on tobacco control in many countries, more work needs to be done. Continued progress will stop millions of people from dying each year from preventable tobacco-related illness, and save hundreds of billions of dollars a year in avoidable health-care expenditures and productivity losses. It is up to us to make sure that this occurs.

Visit WHO website to read the full report.