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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

New call to curb tobacco use

Wednesday January 11th, 2017

There are significant health and financial benefits from improved tobacco control policies, according to a major new report.

The global report, 'The economics of tobacco and tobacco control' is written by the World Health Organisation and the National Cancer Institute of the United States of America, and was released yesterday (10 January).

It states that policies to control tobacco use, including tobacco tax and price increases, could greatly reduce tobacco use and protect people's health from the world's leading killers, like cancers and heart disease.

These measures can also generate significant government revenues for health and development work, it adds.

Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO's Assistant Director-General for Non-communicable diseases and mental health, says: "The economic impact of tobacco on countries, and the general public, is huge, as this new report shows. The tobacco industry produces and markets products that kill millions of people prematurely, rob households of finances that could have been used for food and education, and impose immense healthcare costs on families, communities and countries."

The report estimates that the tobacco industry and the deadly impact of its products cost the world's economies over 1 trillion US dollars each year in health care expenditures and lost productivity. This burden is increasingly borne by low- and middle-income countries because about 80% of the world's smokers live in these areas. It also found that tobacco control measures will not cause net job losses in the vast majority of countries.

Co-editor Professor Frank Chaloupka of the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA, adds: "The research summarised in this monograph confirms that evidence-based tobacco control interventions make sense from an economic as well as a public health standpoint."

Tags: Cancer | Drug & Alcohol Abuse | General Health | Heart Health | Respiratory | World Health

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