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A tax increase that’s proven to save lives

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https://theconversation.com/a-tax-increase-thats-proven-to-save-lives-87908

Jeffrey Drope currently receives funding from the US National Institutes of Health, the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the World Health Organization. He is Vice President, Economic and Health Policy Research at the American Cancer Society.

Otis W. Brawley reports no external funding. He is the Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence.

Shao Fei lights a cigarette on a Beijing street in 2015 as a co-worker looks on. Shao said at the time that higher taxes on cigarettes would lead him to stop smoking.

Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Lung cancer remains the world’s largest cancer killer, but the world is not doing all it can to curb it.

Tobacco use is the largest risk factor for lung cancer. It is also a risk factor for at least 11 other cancers, and the reason that a mind-numbing 1.5 million tobacco-related cancer deaths occur every year worldwide.

This is much more than a health crisis. The global estimate of health costs and lost productivity from smoking-related illnesses was enormous in 2016, estimated at 1.8 percent of the world’s annual gross domestic product.

Without urgent action, scholars predict there will be a billion tobacco-related deaths this century. The costs of treating smoking-related diseases will become an increasingly significant economic burden in many low- and middle-income countries over the next 20 years.

Currently, these countries account for about 40 percent of the overall global costs of tobacco and a growing share of global smoking prevalence. Economic growth in these countries coupled with aggressive marketing by tobacco companies is making things worse. These dynamics represent a clear threat to health and development.

We spend our lives studying, teaching about and promoting cancer control, and we can report there are proven tools at our disposal that can help the world avoid this catastrophe. Arguably, the single most effective tool, both in terms of cost and population-level effects, is tobacco taxation.

Tax – one of public health’s best tools

A large body of evidence demonstrates that applying excise taxes on tobacco products on a sustained basis so that people cannot afford them is currently the most effective policy instrument to discourage smoking. Effective taxes deter people and especially youth from starting to use tobacco and encourage current tobacco users to cut down or quit.

In fact, raising cigarette excise tax in each country by one international dollar – an international dollar in a particular country has the same purchasing power as a U.S. dollar in the U.S. – per 20-cigarette pack would lead to a decrease in daily smoking prevalence from 14.1 percent to 12.9 percent and 66 million fewer smokers in one year.

This also translates into 15 million fewer smoking-related deaths among adults over time.

Most of the world’s governments have signed the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world’s first public health treaty under the WHO’s auspices. Most use the WHO’s associated MPOWER framework to help them translate this commitment into effective, actionable public health policies. Both recommend that raising the price of tobacco through higher taxes is an essential tool to reduce tobacco use.

But the 2017 WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic revealed that tobacco taxation is the least well-implemented major tobacco control measure. Only 10 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where tobacco taxes are sufficiently high to have a preventive impact on tobacco use.

Raising taxes on tobacco would curb smoking, studies show. Reuters/Regis Duvignau

In many countries, the tobacco industry and its surrogates have been spreading inaccurate data and specious arguments to discourage governments from increasing tobacco taxes. The companies have, for example, overinflated the threat of illicit trade in tobacco products.

In reality, many of the countries with the highest tobacco taxes also have the lowest levels of illicit trade. Experience across many countries demonstrates that straightforward steps, such as programs that track and trace tobacco products and even modest law enforcement efforts to find and punish those trafficking in illicit trade, greatly mitigate any such challenges.

Success depends on support

As with many interventions, success depends upon visible and vocal support from a wide variety of actors, including health and political stakeholders. While some in the tobacco control community have advocated for tobacco taxation, many natural allies have remained relatively quiet.

Momentum is now growing and new coalitions are forming to promote tobacco taxation. For example, Prevent20 is a community of cancer organizations from around the world that supports and promotes the use of tobacco taxes as a key cancer prevention strategy. The coalition’s name reflects the grim statistic that 20 percent of all cancer deaths globally are caused by tobacco use.

In September, the Prevent20 Coalition signed an open letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the new WHO director general, acknowledging and supporting his existing commitment to fighting the tobacco epidemic and encouraging him to redouble WHO efforts on global health and, specifically, on raising tobacco taxes.

It was particularly important for the health community to raise the issue of tobacco taxes while Dr. Tedros was attending the United Nations General Assembly meeting, where delegates debated and passed resolutions on issues including development, financing for development and health.

Under the Sustainable Development Goals, governments have committed to fully implement and enforce the WHO FCTC. They have also committed (in Target 3.4) to reduce premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases by one-third by 2030.

It is impossible to meet this target without serious reductions in tobacco use, a major risk factor for the four main noncommunicable diseases: cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes, as well as cancer.

WHO itself has called for a 30 percent relative reduction in adult smoking prevalence by 2025. If taxes were implemented adequately around the world to meet the target, governments could generate up to US$800 billion annually.

From a health and political perspective, there could be significant co-benefits – governments could reinvest revenue in priorities such as improving health systems as well as disease prevention and treatment. This would thereby deliver significant savings in future health care costs. Some countries already have turned tobacco taxes toward improving care, such as Costa Rica and the Philippines, where tobacco excise taxes are paying to extend health care to millions more people.

In global meetings, this potential for revenue generation has led governments to conclude that tobacco taxes should be leveraged as a domestic source of development financing – a strategy explicitly set out in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. But politicians need to demonstrate the will to translate intent into action.

Cancer organizations are beginning to raise their voices to share accurate information about tobacco taxes and health, to debunk tobacco industry misinformation, encourage governments and their constituents to support higher tobacco taxes, and make it easier for governments to adopt and implement them.

Progress is not possible if we let the tobacco industry shape health policy, so the wider health and development community must join the cancer community in being visible and vocal advocates for high tobacco taxes.

World No Tobacco Day and Islam’s Position On Smoking, By Murthada Gusau

Servants of Allah! Since smoking became known to Muslims, all of the great scholars who have the capability of Ijtihad (deriving verdicts in new situations) agree to its prohibition. Thus, there is no value for baseless opinions, conflicting with this, provided by self-proclaimed lesser scholars.

http://opinion.premiumtimesng.com/2017/06/02/world-no-tobacco-day-and-islams-position-on-smoking-by-murthada-gusau/

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Verily, all praise is for Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; He is alone without any partner and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Surah Ali Imran, 3:102]

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” [Surah al-Nisa’, 4:1]

“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (Pbuh) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hellfire and made to enter Paradise).” [Surah al-Ahzab, 33:70-71]

As to what proceeds:

Verily the best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Pbuh). The worst of affairs are the newly-invented affairs in the religion and every newly invented affair in the religion is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the hellfire.

As to what proceeds:

Servants of Allah! Every year, on May 31, the World Health Organisation and it’s partners mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health and additional risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2017 was “Tobacco – a threat to development.” But sadly, the world forgot or refuses to recognise that to protect the human life and health, Islam prohibited tobacco/cigarettes smoking 1438 years ago.

My people! As the world marked this year’s World No Tobacco Day, reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that Tobacco use kills more than seven million people annually and costs over $1.4 trillion in healthcare expenditure and lost productivity.

Brothers and Sisters! Tobacco was discovered by Spanish sailors on American shores at about 1500 CE (900 AH). Since its discovery, the epidemic of smoking has continued to spread all over the world. In our times, one seldom finds a house not afflicted by it. As early as the Seventeenth Century, the European countries realised the dangers of smoking and fought against it. Laws were ordained in England, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, and other countries, prohibiting smoking and punishing violators.

Here in Nigeria, it’s reported that the present Nigerian Health Minister, Mr. Isaac Adewole, has announced nine rules and regulations in the Nigeria Tobacco Control Act that would be implemented by the federal government.

And we must thank the former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan for signing into law The National Tobacco Control Act in 2015.

Health minister, Mr. Isaac Adewole, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, was reported to have said that the implementation of the tobacco control Act had been slow because its regulations require the further approval of the National Assembly.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Nowadays, the Western countries continue their attempts to protect their people from the harms of smoking. They employ the means of the media, ordain laws and regulations, and apply other methods to discourage people from smoking. Because of that, the rate of smokers has declined to a certain degree in those countries.

Servants of Allah! Smoking was introduced to the Muslim countries by the Europeans around 1000 AH. Its spread among the Muslims was similar to that in the West. The unfortunate fact, however, is that in Muslim countries, no similar concrete measures were exerted to protect the people from it. To the contrary, the media continues to advertise smoking and encourage people to use cigarettes. This has caused the epidemic of smoking to continue to spread in those countries to such an extent that it has become hard to control. Smoking has become the rule, and abstaining from it the exception. Often, people look with astonishment and disdain at persons who decline when cigarettes are offered to them.

Today, in some places, offering cigarettes to guests has become among the first rules of hospitality. Anyone who does not offer these to his guests or insist on them smoking would be violating the ethics of hospitality and generosity!

Furthermore, some of those who pretend to represent the Religion are among the worst addicts to smoking. When they are reproached or reminded of their vice, they respond by providing weak excuses to justify this in the name of Islam. They slyly remark that there is no clear Nass (text) prohibiting smoking. Therefore, they conclude, smoking is not prohibited, but is only makruh (disliked), which is a lie. By this, they provide a poor excuse for the ignorant, and establish a very bad example for others.

Such statements have influenced many Muslims, causing them to fall into the snares of addiction to smoking. This is observed all over the world. A striking example is that all American airlines now prohibit smoking, even on most international flights; on the other hand, for some Muslim airlines, sometime one travels in a state of near-suffocation, even on short trips, because of the high number of smokers.

Thus, it becomes incumbent to put together a sermon which provides evidence concerning the ruling of smoking in Islam. I hope that this will benefit our Muslim brothers and sisters; and I ask Allah to accept it from me as a sincere deed for His pleasure.

My respected people! Smoking refers to the action of lighting a cigarette, a pipe, a cigar, a water pipe, or any other object made from tobacco or materials of similar effects. The object is then sucked on with the lips to extract smoke. This smoke is inhaled into the chest and then exhaled from the nose and mouth as a thick white smoke.

“Smoking” is now used to refer to the action of producing this smoke in English, Arabic, and other languages.

Servants of Allah! There are many reasons, any one of which is sufficient to rule smoking as prohibited. Most importantly, it is harmful in numerous ways. It is harmful to the religion, health, environment, family, brotherhood and social relations, property, etc. The following sections will briefly outline some of its harms and evils.

Smoking spoils a person’s acts of worship and reduces their rewards. For instance, it spoils the prayer, which is the pillar of Religion. Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) said:

“Whoever eats garlic or onion, let him avoid us and our mosque, and stay in his home. The angels are surely hurt by things that hurt the human beings.” (Buhari and Muslim from Jabir and other Companions)

Those with clean and undefiled fitrah (nature) have no doubt that the smell emanating from the mouth of a smoker is worse and more foul than that from the mouth of one who ate garlic or onion. Thus, a smoker is in between two options, either to harm the praying people and the angels with his foul smell, or to miss the prayer in congregation (Jama’ah).

Smoking also spoils fasting. Fasting is very hard for the smoker. As soon as the day is over, he hastens to break his fast on an evil cigarette, instead of sweet dates or pure water. Even if he fasts through the month of Ramadan, a smoker is reluctant to fast on other days. Thus he loses the great reward of those who fast even one day in Allah’s way.

No one can deny the harm of smoking to the human body. The medical evidence for this is well established and overwhelming. Because of this, the law in the United States and many other countries requires the inclusion of warnings on any advertisement pertaining to smoking.

Smoking contains poisonous materials, such as nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, arsenic, benzopyrene, etc., that the smoker swallows in small proportions. Their harm accumulates with time to result in a gradual killing of the human organs and tissues.

The hazards of smoking to the health are hard to enumerate. Cancer, tuberculosis, heart attacks, asthma, coughing, premature birth, infertility, infections in the digestive system, high blood pressure, nervousness, mouth and teeth diseases, etc., are among the many health hazards that have been strongly linked to smoking.

These diseases may not appear all at once, however a smoker is most likely to suffer from some of them at some point sooner than later, and his suffering increases as he grows older. Furthermore, statistics have established that the lifespan of smokers are, on the average, ten years less than those of other people.

This is sufficient reason to prohibit smoking. Islam prohibits any action that causes harm to oneself or to other people. Allah says:

“Do not kill yourselves, Allah is indeed merciful to you.” (Surah An-Nisa’, 4:29)

And He says:

“Do not cast yourselves, with your own hands, into destruction.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:195)

And the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) says:

“No harm may be inflicted on oneself or others.” (Ahmad and Ibn Majah from Ibn Abbas and Ubadah, and authenticated by Albani)

And he says:

“The feet of a human being will not depart, on the day of Judgement, from his standing before his Lord, until he is questioned about five things: his lifetime – how did he pass it, his youth – how did he used it, his wealth – where did he earn it and how did he spend it, and how did he follow what he knew.” (At-Tirmidhi and others from Ibn Mas’ud and authenticated by Albani)

And:

“Whoever consumes poison, killing himself with it, then he will be consuming his poison in the hellfire, and he will abide in it permanently and eternally.” (Bukhari and Muslim from Jabir)

My people! Smoking is also harmful to the human mind and reason. An obvious demonstration of this is that one who is addicted to it passes through periods of severe craving, making it hard for him to think, concentrate, solve a problem, or do any important matter, until he smokes.

When one smokes, his muscles slacken, and he passes through a brief period of delirium that curtains thought. His digestive system is also affected, causing him frequent nervousness and trembling of the hands. He passes through periods of excitability, irritation, and insomnia.

Thus, instead of being Allah’s slave, a smoker becomes a slave to his cigarette. He develops a weak control of his sense and reason. The faculty of reason, clear and unobstructed, is one of Allah’s great bounties and gifts in people. He praised it in numerous places of the Qur’an; and He called on people to use it to see the truth and obey Him in a better way. Allah wants of the believer to be strong and capable of controlling the reigns of his desires. He said:

“Allah wants to let you into His mercy, whereas those who follow the desires want you to drift far away (from the right path).” (Surah An-Nisa’, 4:27)

Also, a smoker emits his poison in the faces of his companions, wife, children, and the environment. It is well established that second-hand smoke is almost as dangerous as the first-hand one. Thus, whether they like it or not, a smoker’s associates are forced to inhale smoke and become smokers as well.

In addition to the poisons normally carried in smoke, if a smoker has a contagious disease, such as tuberculosis or influenza, his exhaled smoke and coughing carry the disease to those around him.

Furthermore, a smoker irritates people by the foul smell and poisonous nature of his smoking. If they suffer from asthma or allergies, they are forced to move away from his vicinity. The Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt his neighbour.” (Al-Bukhari)

Thus, smoking constitutes a definite harm to other people; this is prohibited, as was indicated in the hadith cited earlier.

Also, a smoker is certainly a bad companion to sit with, as is depicted in the following hadith:

“Verily, the example of a good companion and a bad one is like that of a perfume merchant and a blacksmith: As for the perfume merchant, he would either grant you (some perfume), or you would buy (some perfume) from him, or (in the least) you would get a good smell from him. And as for the blower of the bellows (iron smith), you would either get a foul odour from him, or he would burn your clothes.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Brothers and Sisters! A smoker wastes his wealth on that which harms and has no benefit; he will be asked about his wealth and how he spent it, as has been cited in the hadith earlier. His wealth belongs to Allah, so how would he dare to waste it in disobedience to Him? Allah says:

“And do not entrust to the imprudent ones the possessions that Allah has placed in your charge…” (Surah An-Nisa’, 4:5)

And He says:

“And do not waste (your resources) extravagantly. Indeed the Squanderers are the brethren of the devils.” (Surah Al-Isra’, 17:26-27)

And the Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“Allah hates for you three things: gossiping, begging, and wasting money.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Furthermore, there are numerous cases of burnt carpets, furniture, vehicles, and even complete houses and establishments that have resulted from this disastrous vice.

Moreover, smoking is a form of moral decadence. It is most spread among low-class immoral people. It reflects the blind imitation of the non-Muslims. It is mostly consumed in bars, discos, casinos, and other places of sin. A smoker may beg or steal if he does not have the money to buy cigarettes. He is ill-mannered with his friends and family, especially when he misses taking his necessary “dose” at the usual time.

Smoking involves the consumption of an evil substance (khabith). It has a foul smell, foul taste, and is harmful to the body. This is sufficient to prohibit it, because Allah says:

“(The Prophet) who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right, forbid them the doing of what is wrong, make lawful to them the good things of life, prohibit for them the evil things, and lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were (previously) upon them.” (Surah Al-‘Araf, 7:157)

A smoker inhales the smoke that does not give him any nourishment. This is similar to the action of the people of the Hell fire who eat harmful thorny plants. Allah says:
“No food will be there for them but a poisonous thorny plant, which will neither nourish them nor still their hunger.” (Surah Al-Ghashiya, 88:6-7)

A smoker, whether he likes it or not, makes of himself an example for his children and others to follow. He leads them to commit this evil. Actions sometimes have a stronger effect than words. Thus, even if he advises them or forbids them from smoking, his partaking in it provides them with a strong excuse to do so too.

The problem is worse when the smoker is of known piety or knowledge. In such case, his harm becomes more emphasised, because more people take him as a guide and example, and are thus led astray by him. This multiplies his sins and increases his burden.

Also, the majority of good people avoid smoking and stay away from smokers. Therefore, a smoker is forced to stay away from them – at least while he smokes. He puts himself in a selective exile, creating a spiritual distance and hostility between him and good people, and a closeness to evil people. The effects of this become more apparent and acute with time.

Note that this applies equally to any sin that a person commits, small or big.

A smoker despises himself, because he feels that a little cigarette is controlling him. Realising his weakness before desires, this creates in him a feeling of defeat in the face of hardships.

Servants of Allah! Since smoking became known to Muslims, all of the great scholars who have the capability of Ijtihad (deriving verdicts in new situations) agree to its prohibition. Thus, there is no value for baseless opinions, conflicting with this, provided by self-proclaimed lesser scholars.

Brothers and Sisters! In discussing the subject of the prohibition of smoking, there are some important warnings that need to be mentioned:

1. As indicated before, the prohibition of smoking is not restricted to cigarettes, but applies as well to other objects that have similar effects such as cigars, pipes, water-pipes, chewing tobacco or sniffing tobacco, etc.

2. The reasons mentioned above for prohibiting smoking apply as well, and more strongly, to various types of drugs and hashish such as marijuana. These materials have additional problems such as causing drunkenness, death, madness, etc.

3. The prohibition of smoking is not restricted to consuming it, but applies as well to offering it to people, sitting with those who are smoking, or selling it. All of this involves helping people commit sins, which is prohibited, as Allah says:

“Help one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sinning and transgression. And fear and revere Allah; verily, Allah is severe in punishment.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:2)

Also, Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) said:

“Indeed when Allah prohibits something, he prohibits eating its price (i.e. its money).” (Ahmad and Abu Dawud from Ibn Abbas, authenticated by Albani)

My people! Only few of those addicted to smoking are able to stop it. The reasons for this are many, among which are the following:

1. The addictive nature of the poisonous substances contained in it;

2. Smokers are not totally convinced of its prohibition;

3. They do not have a strong determination to refrain from it;

The following are some suggestions to help a person to stop smoking:

1. Rely on Allah sincerely, with full determination not to return to smoking, in compliance with Allah’s command:

“When you decide on a certain course of action, place your trust in Allah.” (Surah Ali-Imran, 3:159)

2. Stop immediately, instead of claiming it is best to do it gradually. The gradual approach is the way of one who does not trust his determination and the will power that Allah has granted him. Let the example be taken from the Sahabah (Companions) who, as soon as Allah’s command reached them regarding alcohol:

“Will you not then desist?” (Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:91)

They immediately poured out all the alcohol that they had and said, “We desist our Lord, we desist!” They did this despite the fact that alcohol has a greater addictive power over those who drink it.

3. Avoid the bad company of smokers and smoking environments that are full with the smell of smoke;

4. Change your food diet by abstaining from food and drinks that entice the craving for smoke such as spices, meat, tea, and coffee; and eat a lot of vegetables and fruits;

5. Use medically tested and established procedures to help stop smoking, as directed by physicians, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, etc.;

6. Expel the secret whispers of Shaytan (Satan) who continuously dictates to the human being that he is weak and incapable of refraining from sinning, as Allah says:

“It is but Satan who instills (into you) fear of his allies; so do not fear them, but fear Me if you are (truly) believers…” (Surah Ali-Imran, 3:175)

And:

“Fight then against the allies of Satan; indeed, Satan’s guile is weak…” (Surah An-Nisa’, 4:76)

Brothers and Sisters! Please, for more information about the prohibition of tobacco/cigarette, check out the following important books:

1. The Ruling of Smoking, by Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibrahim (rahimahullah);

2. The Ruling of Smoking, by Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Bin Nasir as-Sa’adi (rahimahullah);

3. The Ruling of Smoking, by Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Bin Abdullah Bin Baz (rahimahullah);

4. The Ruling of Smoking, by Shaykh Muhammad Bin Salih al-Uthaymin (rahimahullah);

5. Hukmul lslami fit-Tadkhin, by Shaykh Muhammad Jamil Zainu;

6. Hukmud Dini fil-Lihyati wat-Tadkhin, by Shaykh Hasan al-Halabi;

7. Smoking and Its Effects on Health, by Dr. Muhammad Ali al-Barr;

8. The Smoke of the Gods: A Social History of Tobacco, by Eric Burns Temple University Press, 2007;

9. Unfiltered: Conflicts over Tobacco Policy and Public Health, by Eric A. Feldman; Ronald Bayer Harvard University Press, 2004;

10. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioural Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General, by U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. United States Public Health Service. Office of the Surgeon General, 2010;

11. The Health Consequences of Smoking – 50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General“, by Office of the Surgeon General United States. Public Health Service. Office of the Surgeon General, 2014;

12. At What Cost? The Economic Impact of Tobacco Use on National Health Systems, Societies and Individuals : A Summary of Methods and Findings, by The World Bank International Development Research Centre, 2003;

13. “Smoking Prevalence in the United States: Differences across Socioeconomic Groups”, by Goel, Rajeev K, Journal of Economics and Finance, Vol. 32, No. 2, April 2008.

14. “Risk Beliefs and Smoking Behaviour”, by Viscusi, W. Kip; Hakes, Jahn K, Economic Inquiry, Vol. 46, No. 1, January 2008;

15. Regulating Tobacco, by Robert L. Rabin; Stephen D. Sugarman; Oxford University Press, 2001;

16. “Cigarette Smoking among Adolescents with Alcohol and Other Drug Use Problems”, by Myers, Mark G.; Kelly, John F, Alcohol Research, Vol. 29, No. 3, Fall 2006;

17. Peddling Poison: The Tobacco Industry and Kids, by Clete Snell; Praeger, 2005;

18. Smoking Prevention: The Impact of Shock and Sap Appeal, by Nickols-Richardson, Sharon M, Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Vol. 94, No. 4, November 2002;

19. :The Food and Drug Administration Kicks the Habit-The FDA’s New Role in Regulation of Tobacco Products”, by Yevtukhova, Olga, American Journal of Law & Medicine, Vol. 35, No. 4, October 1, 2009;

20. “Tobacco Abuse in Pregnancy”, by Oliver, Robert J. Md, PhD, Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health, Vol. 17, No. 2, Winter 2002.

21. Smoking and the Workplace: Issues and Answers for Human Resources Professionals. Contributors: William M. Timmins Clark Brighton Timmins; Quorum Books, 1989;

22. Smoking, Health, and Personality. Contributors: H. J. Eysenck; Basic Books, 1965;

23. The Education-Drug Use Connection: How Successes and Failures in School Relate to Adolescent Smoking, Drinking, Drug Use, and Delinquency. Contributors: Jerald G. Bachman, Patrick M. O’Malley, John E. Schulenberg, Lloyd D. Johnston, Peter Freedman, Doan Emily E. Messersmith; L. Erlbaum Associates, 2008;

24. Theory and Practice of Excise Taxation: Smoking, Drinking, Gambling, Polluting, and Driving. Contributors: Sijbren Cnossen; Oxford University Press, 2005;

25. Smoking, Drinking, and Drug Use in Young Adulthood: The Impacts of New Freedoms and New Responsibilities. Contributors: Jerald G. Bachman, Katherine N. Wadsworth, Patrick M. O’Malley, Lloyd D. Johnston, John E. Schulenberg; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997.

Lastly, I ask, Allah to give us the ability to restrain our desires and to willingly submit ourselves to His will.

Oh Allah, the Almighty, make our country Nigeria safe and the other Muslim countries in general, Oh Lord of the universe, jinn and mankind.

Oh Allah, protect our safety, our Iman and our peace in our native lands and rectify those placed in authority over our affairs (our leaders), and don’t hold us to account for that which the foolish amongst us have done, and protect us from trials, the apparent and hidden.

Oh Allah, show us the truth for the truth and help us to follow it, and show us the falsehood for falsehood and help us to stay away from it, and make Iman most beloved to us and beautify it in our hearts, and make disbelief, lewdness and rebellion most hated to us and make us from those who are guided.

Oh Allah, rectify all our leaders, guide them to that which is good for themselves and to that which is good for us. Oh Allah make them a means for our safety, and make them a means for our word (unity) to be one, and make them a cause for our coming together, Yaa Al-Hayyu (Oh The Ever Living, The One who cannot die), Yaa Al-Qayyum (The Self Sustainer), Yaa Saami’ (The Hearer) of the supplication.

Oh Allah, safeguard our country. Oh Allah, bring ease to the Nigerians from that which they face from sufferings. Oh Allah, give us immediate ease. Oh Allah, give us victory with a happy outcome. Oh Allah make ease for the Nigerians from every difficulty and from every suffering, Oh Hearer of the supplication, Oh Reliever from every distress, Oh answerer of the supplication, Oh Helper of the grieving, Oh ever living, Self Sustaining, Oh Hearer of the supplication, Oh Owner of Loftiness and Nobility!

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.

Oh Allah! The Sustainer of Mankind! Remove the illness from our President Muhammadu Buhari, cure his disease. You are the One Who cures. There is no cure except Your cure. Grant him a cure that leaves no illness.

I ask Allah, the Mighty, the Lord of the Mighty Throne, to cure President Muhammadu Buhari.

Oh Allah! Our Lord and Sustainer! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the Fire of Jahannam (Hellfire).

I seek protection in the might of Allah and His power from the evil of what President Muhammadu Buhari is experiencing and of what he fear.

Oh Allah! Make every single aspect of our life be for You and in service of Your Creation. Please remove all false intentions that we have.

Oh Allah! save humanity from being its own enemy. Protect Your creation from oppression. Save the people of Nigeria from internal and external oppressors and give them justice. Protect us all from violence, fear and danger, You are our Protector.

Ya Allah! let us love You as You deserved to be loved, and let us fear You as You deserve to be feared, and let us leave this world serving Your creation for Your sake.

Oh Allah! increase us in beneficial knowledge, let this knowledge be with sincerity, not for seeking fame, glory, status, material wealth. Let this knowledge serve Your cause in a way that You accept, and let it benefit humanity.

Oh Allah! please guide our children and all children. They are surrounded by so much temptation and forbidden things. Protect them our Lord from all of the evil influences that are around them. Give them friends who will strengthen their faith and help them stay on the Straight Path. Ameen Ya Rabb!

My respected people! For a Muslim Ramadan is the month in which they can gain maximum blessings and mercy from Allah Almighty and seek forgiveness for whatever sins they have committed. Therefore, prayers, charity, Du’as etc, need to be ensured during the month as these are the means that can help a Muslim achieve the desired objectives.

I pray that Allah Ta’ala allows me and you all to finished this Ramadan with the highest degree of Iman, ameen.

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad (Pbuh), and upon his family and Companions.

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Ramadan 7, 1438 A.H. (June 2, 2017), By Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761

WHO urges government to control tobacco use

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged the government to introduce policies to control the use of tobacco because it is a leading risk factor for some serious non-communicable diseases.

The Country Representative of WHO, Dr Owen Kaluwa, who made the call suggested, for instance, the imposition of high taxes on tobacco companies to deter them from going into production.

http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/who-urges-government-to-control-tobacco-use.html

In the event of the companies paying such taxes, he said, the revenue generated should be used to finance health delivery.

He was speaking at a public forum to mark World No-Tobacco Day (WNTD) in Accra last Wednesday.

Avoid tobacco

Dr Kaluwa said globally, tobacco kills about 7.2 million people every year, over 80 per cent of whom are from low or middle-income countries.

“In Africa, about 146,000 adults aged 30 years and above die every year due to tobacco-related health diseases,” he added.

He said the use of tobacco was a leading preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and chronic lung disease.

“Up to half of all tobacco users will die prematurely from tobacco-related causes, and on average, tobacco users lose 15 years of their lives,” he said.

Mr Kaluwa added that the growing of tobacco had affected agricultural lands in some areas.

Public education

At her turn, a Deputy Minister of Health, Mrs Tina Mensah, said adequate public education was important in dealing with the problem of tobacco use.

She reiterated the fact that tobacco use was dangerous to human health and damaging to national economic development.

“Tobacco-related illnesses and premature mortality impose direct and indirect cost to individuals and government,” she said.

She noted that tobacco production companies tried to influence the young generation to become addicted to smoking, which was a national threat.

She applauded the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) for its intervention in combating the use of tobacco by preventing tobacco companies from advertising their products.

Mrs Mensah said the ministry, for its part, would continue to support the fight against the use of tobacco in the country.

Preventive measures

Outlining some measures that had been put in place to check tobacco usage, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Mrs Delese A. Darko, mentioned the prohibition of smoking in public places, advertising prohibition and sponsorship as examples.

She added that packaging, labelling and health warnings on tobacco packages were other ways of preventing and discouraging tobacco consumers from patronising the product.

“These prohibitions have shown to be effective in reducing the demand for tobacco,” she said, adding that public sensitisation and education would, accordingly, be increased to meet the target groups.

“As we get funding, we will continue to do more to inform the public about the harmful effects of the use of tobacco,” Mrs Mensah said.

In connection with the celebration, Smoking Cessation Guidelines and a declaration on WNTD 2017 were launched.

World No Tobacco Day: Poor almost three times more likely to smoke

360,000 NI residents still estimated to smoke, with men more likely to light up

http://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/health/world-no-tobacco-day-poor-13117577

People in the most deprived areas of Northern Ireland are almost three times more likely to smoke than their better off counterparts according to the Public Health Authority NI.

Considered by the World Health Organisation to be a blight on health, the environment and household income, the international health organisation also revealed today – on World No Tobacco Day – that globally, there are 226million adult tobacco users living in poverty.

And in low income countries over 10% of a smoker’s budget can be spent on tobacco products, meaning less money for food, education and health care.

“Tobacco use hits the poorest people the hardest and exacerbates poverty,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO.

“Spending on tobacco products often represents more than 10% of total household income.

“(It) is a deadly product that kills more than 7million people every year, and costs the global economy more than $1.4trillion annually in healthcare expenditure and lost productivity.”

“In addition to posing a serious threat to health,” she added, “tobacco use also threatens development in every country on every level and across many sectors – economic growth, health, education, poverty and the environment – with women and children bearing the brunt of the consequences.”

Closer to home, the Public Health Authority said it is currently estimated that around 320,000 people aged 16 and over smoke in Northern Ireland, with men (23%) slightly more likely to light up than women (21%).

But, in line with global trends, they said there is also a strong link between smoking prevalence and deprivation here, while those in manual occupations are three times more likely to smoke than professionals.

The 2015/16 Health Survey NI found that 36% of respondents in the most deprived areas used tobacco, but this figure is just 13% among the more well off.

And while the number of smokers is falling, with 80% of those who still do forgoing the addiction in their homes and cars, there is still more work to be done.

“Protecting people from tobacco smoke is a key objective set out in the Ten Year Tobacco Strategy for Northern Ireland,” said Colette Rogers, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement from the Public Health Agency.

“Therefore, the Public Health Agency would welcome a ban on smoking in cars as a means of protecting young people from exposure to second-hand smoke, improving people’s health and helping to reduce the uptake of smoking in Northern Ireland.

“Smoking remains the single greatest cause of preventable illness and premature death in Northern Ireland so we urge smokers to quit by seeking the help of their local stop smoking service.

“In Northern Ireland there are more than 650 free PHA-funded stop smoking services which are run by specially-trained staff who can advise on the best way to stop smoking.

“Services are offered in many community pharmacies, GP practices, HSC Trust premises, and community and voluntary organisations, and can be set up in workplaces.”

Study: China Struggles to Kick World-Leading Cigarette Habit

Most smokers in China, the world’s largest tobacco consumer, have no intention of kicking the habit and remain unaware of some of its most damaging health effects, Chinese health officials and outside researchers said Wednesday.

http://www.voanews.com/a/china-smoking/3879050.html

An estimated 316 million people smoke in China, almost a quarter of the population, and concerns are growing about the long-term effects on public health and the economy.

The vast majority of smokers are men, of whom 59 percent told surveyors that they have no plans to quit, according to a decade-long study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Canadian researchers with the International Tobacco Control project.

Such numbers have prompted efforts to restrict the formerly ubiquitous practice. Major cities including Beijing and Shanghai having recently moved to ban public smoking, with Shanghai’s prohibition going into effect in March. In 2015, the central government approved a modest nationwide cigarette tax increase.

But Chinese and international health officials argue that more is needed, including a nationwide public smoking ban, higher cigarette taxes and more aggressive health warnings. Such actions are “critically important,” Yuan Jiang, director of tobacco control for the Chinese Center for Disease Control, said in a statement released with Wednesday’s study.

A public smoking ban appeared imminent last year. The government health ministry said in December that it would happen by the end of 2016, but that has yet to materialize.

“They have to figure out what’s important as a health policy,” said Geoffrey Fong of Canada’s University of Waterloo, one of the authors of Wednesday’s study. “Every third man that you pass on the street in China will die of cigarettes. …When you have cheap cigarettes, people will smoke them.”

In line with global trends, smoking rates among Chinese have fallen slowly over the past 25 years, by about 1 percent annually among men and 2.6 percent among women, according to a separate study published in April in the medical journal The Lancet.

Yet because of China’s population growth — 1.37 billion people at last count — the actual number of smokers has continued to increase. Rising prosperity means cigarettes have become more affordable, while low taxes keep the cost of some brands at less than $1 a pack.

Sixty percent of Chinese smokers were unaware that cigarettes can lead to strokes and almost 40 percent weren’t aware that smoking causes heart disease, according to the study, which was released on World No Tobacco Day, when the World Health Organization and others highlight health risks associated with tobacco use.

Judith Mackay, an anti-tobacco advocate based in Hong Kong, said China has made strides with the public smoking bans in some cities and a similar ban covering schools and universities, but that’s not enough.

“This is the first time there has been a report looking at the overall picture of where China stands,” said Mackay, senior adviser at Vital Strategies, a global health organization. “The reality is, it’s falling behind.”

Mackay blamed behind the scenes lobbying by China’s state-owned tobacco monopoly for impeding efforts to toughen tobacco policies. The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Government agencies and research institutes in China, Canada and the United States funded the study.

Stop Smoking: It’s Deadly and Bad for the Economy

Higher taxes on tobacco products reduce tobacco consumption and improve public health, while also increasing government revenues that can be used to fund priority investments and programs that benefit the entire population.

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/infographic/2017/05/31/stop-smoking-its-deadly-and-bad-for-the-economy

WBG_NoTobaccoDay_Infographic_052417-Final

Study reveals high environmental cost of tobacco

Smoking kills 7 million people a year, and it scars the planet through deforestation, pollution and littering.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/31/health/tobacco-environment-who-report/

Details of the environmental cost of tobacco are revealed in a study released Wednesday by the World Health Organization, adding to the well-known costs to global health, which translate to a yearly loss of $1.4 trillion in health-care expenses and lost productivity.

From crop to pack, tobacco commands an intensive use of resources and forces the release of harmful chemicals in the soil and waterways, as well as significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Its leftovers linger, as tobacco litter is the biggest component of litter worldwide.

“Tobacco not only produces lung cancer in people, but it is a cancer to the lungs of the Earth,” said Dr. Armando Peruga, who previously coordinated the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative and now works as a consultant. He reviewed the new report for the WHO.

world-of-tobacco

Commercial tobacco farming is a worldwide industry that involves 124 countries and occupies 4.3 million hectares of agricultural land. About 90% of it takes place in low-income countries, with China, Brazil and India as the largest producers.

Because tobacco is often a monocrop — grown without being rotated with other crops — the plants and the soil are weak in natural defenses and require larger amounts of chemicals for growth and protection from pests.

“Tobacco also takes away a lot of nutrients from the soil and requires massive amounts of fertilizer, a process that leads to degradation of the land and desertification, with negative consequences for biodiversity and wildlife,” Peruga said.

The use of chemicals directly impacts the health of farmers, 60% to 70% of whom are women. This is especially prominent in low- and middle-income countries, where some compounds that are banned in high-income countries are still used.

300 cigarettes = one tree

Farming also uses a surprisingly large amount of wood, rendering tobacco a driver of deforestation, one of the leading causes of climate change.

About 11.4 million metric tonnes of wood are utilized annually for curing: the drying of the tobacco leaf, which is achieved through various methods, including wood fires.

That’s the equivalent of one tree for every 300 cigarettes, or 1.5 cartons.

This adds to the impact of plantations on forest land, which the study describes as a significant cause for concern, citing “evidence of substantial, and largely irreversible, losses of trees and other plant species cause by tobacco farming.”

Deadly gases

In 2012, 967 million daily smokers consumed approximately 6.25 trillion cigarettes worldwide, the WHO estimates.

“That means about 6,000 metric tonnes of formaldehyde and 47,000 metric tonnes of nicotine are released into the environment,” Peruga said.

Tobacco smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals, at least 250 of which are known to be harmful. It also contains climate-warming carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides. “The combination of greenhouse gases from combustion is equivalent to about 1.5 million vehicles driven annually,” Peruga said.

Secondhand smoke is particularly deadly: It contains twice as much nicotine and 147 times more ammonia than so-called mainstream smoke, leading to close to 1 million deaths annually, 28% of them children.

Some of these pollutants remain in the environment (and our homes) as “third-hand smoke,” accumulating in dust and surfaces indoors, and in landfills. Some, like nicotine, even resist treatment, polluting waterways and potentially contaminating water used for consumption, the study notes.

Non-biodegradable litter

Tobacco litter is the most common type of litter by count worldwide.

“We calculate that two-thirds of every cigarette ends up as litter,” Peruga said.

The litter is laced with chemicals including arsenic and heavy metals, which can end up in the water supply. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable, and tossing one on the ground is still considered a socially acceptable form of littering in many countries.

The WHO estimates that between 340 million and 680 million kilograms of tobacco waste are thrown away every year, and cigarette butts account for 30% to 40% of all items collected in coastal and urban clean-ups.

“In addition to that, there are 2 million tons of paper, foil, ink and glue used for the packaging,” Peruga said.

A way forward?

Even though smoking is declining globally, it is increasing in some regions, such as the eastern Mediterranean and Africa. China is a world leader both in production (44%) and consumption, with 10 times more cigarettes smoked than in any other nation.

Every stage of the production of a cigarette has negative effects on the environment and the people who are involved in manufacturing tobacco products, even before the health of smokers and non-smokers is affected.

Although governments worldwide already collect $270 billion in tobacco taxes a year, the WHO suggests that increasing tax and prices is an effective way of reducing consumption and help development priorities in each country, adding that by collecting 80 cents more per pack, the global tax revenue could be doubled.

“Tobacco threatens us all,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a note. “It exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air.”

Stronger Tobacco-control Measures Vital, WHO Warns

The World Health Organization warns that more than 7 million people die prematurely every year from tobacco-related causes, and it’s a costly drain on national economies.

https://www.voanews.com/a/stronger-tobacco-control-measures-vital-world-health-organization-says/3878184.html

In advance of World No Tobacco day, to be observed Wednesday, the global health agency urged governments to implement strong tobacco control measures for the health of their people and their economies.

WHO calls tobacco a threat to development. Besides the heavy toll in lives lost, global estimates show that “tobacco costs the global economy $1.4 trillion a year,” or 1.8 percent of global gross domestic product. The WHO notes this estimate takes into consideration “only medical expenses and lost productive capacities.”

Despite effective tobacco control measures, WHO reports the number of people dying from smoking is increasing because those dying today have mostly been long-term smokers and it takes time for tobacco control policies to make an impact.

Vinayak Prasad, program manager of the WHO’s Tobacco Free Initiative, told VOA, “What we are seeing is that if the policies were not in place, the number of 7.2 million would have been higher. We are seeing a reduction of tobacco use prevalence in most countries. The only regions now which are seeing higher growth are the African continent and Middle Eastern region. The rest of the world is seeing a decline.”

Diseases, disabilities

Besides leading to premature death, the WHO has found, countless millions of people who smoke suffer from a wide variety of tobacco-related diseases and resultant serious disabilities, including blindness, amputation, impotence and poor oral health.

Andrew Black of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Secretariat noted that smoking is an addiction largely taken up in childhood and adolescence, “so it is crucial to reduce the number of young people taking up smoking in the first place. We must stop the tobacco industry’s powerful advertising and promotion, which can all too often be oriented toward young people.”

Black said tobacco widens social inequalities and is a driver of poverty around the world.

“We know that those living on lower incomes in virtually all countries are likely to smoke, and therefore more likely to suffer the consequences of tobacco use,” he said.

Black said that by 2030, about 80 percent of the world’s tobacco-related mortality will be in low- and middle-income countries.

“High rates of tobacco use being promoted by aggressive strategies from the tobacco industry are projected to lead to a doubling of the number of tobacco-related deaths in low- and middle-income countries between 2010 and 2030,” he said.

Study issued

To mark World No-Tobacco Day, the U.N. Development Program and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control issued a study that focuses on the harmful effects of tobacco on both health and on efforts aimed at achieving the U.N.’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Dudley Tarlton, UNDP program specialist on health and development, told VOA that tobacco undermines the SDGs because “household consumption on tobacco displaces consumption on other goods and services that might lead to a better end.

“So, it affects poverty. It affects hunger. Education is affected. Children get ear infections because they are exposed to household smoke in the home,” he said.

For the first time, the WHO and UNDP released a joint report showing the bad impact tobacco has on the environment.

Prasad acknowledged that the data received from the tobacco industry and from governments were relatively weak. Nevertheless, he said, “the evidence is really astounding as to how tobacco is extremely dangerous and harming the environment.”

He said using land to grow tobacco “can lead to severe damage because of the widespread use of agrochemicals.”

Use of trees

Prasad noted that more than 11 million metric tons of wood was required to cure and dry tobacco, “which essentially means deforestation is already happening.”

The report found that tobacco waste contains over 7,000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment, including human carcinogens, and that tobacco smoke contributes “thousands of tons of human carcinogens, toxicants and greenhouse gases to the environment.”

Prasad said that cigarettes are bad news for tree lovers because “for every 300 cigarettes, we need to cut a tree. … Even conservatively, if we are looking at 6 trillion cigarettes, we are looking at almost 15 to 20 billion trees to cut.

“We have 6 trillion trees in the world, so we are almost looking at a big cut, which is going to happen, if we do not hold this,” he said.

And regarding the sullying of the world’s environment, he noted that cigarette butts “account for 30 to 40 percent of all items collected in coastal and urban cleanups.”

World No Tobacco Day 2017

World No Tobacco Day 2017: Beating tobacco for health, prosperity, the environment and national development

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/no-tobacco-day/en/

Action to stamp out tobacco use can help countries prevent millions of people falling ill and dying from tobacco-related disease, combat poverty and, according to a first-ever WHO report, reduce large-scale environmental degradation.

On World No Tobacco Day 2017, WHO is highlighting how tobacco threatens the development of nations worldwide, and is calling on governments to implement strong tobacco control measures. These include banning marketing and advertising of tobacco, promoting plain packaging of tobacco products, raising excise taxes, and making indoor public places and workplaces smoke-free.

Tobacco’s health and economic costs

Tobacco use kills more than 7 million people every year and costs households and governments over US$ 1.4 trillion through healthcare expenditure and lost productivity.

“Tobacco threatens us all,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “Tobacco exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air.”

Dr Chan adds: “But by taking robust tobacco control measures, governments can safeguard their countries’ futures by protecting tobacco users and non-users from these deadly products, generating revenues to fund health and other social services, and saving their environments from the ravages tobacco causes.”

All countries have committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to strengthen universal peace and eradicate poverty. Key elements of this agenda include implementing the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and by 2030 reducing by one third premature death from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including heart and lung diseases, cancer, and diabetes, for which tobacco use is a key risk factor.

Tobacco scars the environment

The first-ever WHO report, Tobacco and its environmental impact: an overview, also shows the impact of this product on nature, including:

  • Tobacco waste contains over 7000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment, including human carcinogens.
  • Tobacco smoke emissions contribute thousands of tons of human carcinogens, toxicants, and greenhouse gases to the environment. And tobacco waste is the largest type of litter by count globally.
  • Up to 10 billion of the 15 billion cigarettes sold daily are disposed in the environment.
  • Cigarette butts account for 30–40% of all items collected in coastal and urban clean-ups.

Tobacco threatens women, children, and livelihoods

Tobacco threatens all people, and national and regional development, in many ways, including:

  • Poverty: Around 860 million adult smokers live in low- and middle-income countries. Many studies have shown that in the poorest households, spending on tobacco products often represents more than 10% of total household expenditure – meaning less money for food, education and healthcare.
  • Children and education: Tobacco farming stops children attending school. 10%–14% of children from tobacco-growing families miss class because of working in tobacco fields.
  • Women: 60%–70% of tobacco farm workers are women, putting them in close contact with often hazardous chemicals.
  • Health: Tobacco contributes to 16% of all noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) deaths.

Taxation: a powerful tobacco control tool

“Many governments are taking action against tobacco, from banning advertising and marketing, to introducing plain packaging for tobacco products, and smoke-free work and public places,” says Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for NCDs and Mental Health. “But one of the least used, but most effective, tobacco control measures to help countries address development needs is through increasing tobacco tax and prices.”

Governments collect nearly US$ 270 billion in tobacco excise tax revenues each year, but this could increase by over 50%, generating an additional US$ 141 billion, simply from raising taxes on cigarettes by just US$ 0.80 per pack (equivalent to one international dollar) in all countries. Increased tobacco taxation revenues will strengthen domestic resource mobilization, creating the fiscal space needed for countries to meet development priorities under the 2030 Agenda.

“Tobacco is a major barrier to development globally;” says Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director of WHO’s Department for the Prevention on NCDs. “Tobacco-related death and illness are drivers of poverty, leaving households without breadwinners, diverting limited household resources to purchase tobacco products rather than food and school materials, and forcing many people to pay for medical expenses.”

“But action to control it will provide countries with a powerful tool to protect their citizens and futures,” Dr Bettcher adds.

Editor’s note

Tobacco-related illness is one of the biggest public health threats the world faces, killing more than 7 million people a year. But tobacco use is one of the largest preventable causes of noncommunicable diseases.

Tobacco control represents a powerful tool in improving health in communities and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG target 3.4 is to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by one third by 2030, including cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancers, and diabetes.

Another SDG target, 3.a, calls for implementation of the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). The WHO FCTC entered into force in 2005, and its Parties are obliged to take a number of steps to reduce demand and supply for tobacco products. Actions addressed in the Convention include protecting people from exposure to tobacco smoke; banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; banning sales to minors; requiring health warnings on tobacco packaging; promoting tobacco cessation; increasing tobacco taxes; and creating a national coordinating mechanism for tobacco control. There are 180 Parties to the Convention.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Garwood
WHO Department of Communications
Telephone: +41 22 791 15 78
Mobile: +41 79 603 72 94
Email: garwoodp@who.int

Christian Lindmeier
WHO Department of Communications
Telephone: +41 22 791 1948
Mobile: +41 79 500 6552
Email: lindmeierch@who.int

Tobacco kills 7 million a year, wreaks environmental havoc: WHO

Smoking and other tobacco use kills more than seven million people each year, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, also warning of the dire environmental impact of tobacco production, distribution and waste.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/world/2017/05/30/Tobacco-kills-7-million-a-year-wreaks-environmental-havoc-WHO

The UN agency said tougher measures were needed to rein in tobacco use, urging countries to ban smoking in the workplace and indoor public spaces, outlaw marketing of tobacco products and hike cigarette prices.

“Tobacco threatens us all,” WHO chief Margaret Chan said in a statement.

“Tobacco exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air,” she said.

In a report released ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Wednesday, WHO warned that the annual death toll of seven million people had jumped from four million at the turn of the century, making tobacco the world’s single biggest cause of preventable death.

And the death toll is expected to keep rising, with WHO bracing for more than one billion deaths this century.

“By 2030, more than 80 percent of the deaths will occur in developing countries, which have been increasingly targeted by tobacco companies seeking new markets to circumvent tightening regulation in developed nations.”

Tobacco use also brings an economic cost: WHO estimates that it drains more than $1.4 trillion (1.3 trillion euros) from households and governments each year in healthcare expenditures and lost productivity, or nearly two percent of the global gross domestic product.

In addition to the health and economic costs linked to smoking, the WHO report for the first time delved into the environmental impact of everything from tobacco production to the cigarette butts and other waste produced by smokers.

“From start to finish, the tobacco life cycle is an overwhelmingly polluting and damaging process,” WHO Assistant Director-General Oleg Chestnov said in the report.

The report detailed how growing tobacco often requires large quantities of fertilisers and pesticides, and it warned that tobacco farming had become the main cause of deforestation in several countries.

This is largely due to the amount of wood needed for curing tobacco, with WHO estimating that one tree is needed for every 300 cigarettes produced.

WHO also highlighted the pollution generated during the production, transport and distribution of tobacco products.

The report estimates that the industry emits nearly four million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually — the same as around three million transatlantic flights.

And waste from the process contains over 7,000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment, including human carcinogens, WHO said.

Once in the hands of the consumer, tobacco smoke emissions spewed thousands of tonnes of human carcinogens, toxic substances and greenhouse gases into the environment.

Cigarette butts and other tobacco waste make up the largest number of individual pieces of litter in the world, the agency said.

Two thirds of the 15 billion cigarettes sold each day are thrown on to the street or elsewhere in the environment, it said, adding that butts account for up to 40 percent of all items collected in coastal and urban clean-ups.

WHO urged governments to take strong measures to rein in tobacco use.

“One of the least used, but most effective tobacco control measures… is through increasing tobacco tax and prices,” Chestnov said.