Prevent tobacco industry from derailing implementation of Framework Convention: UN chief

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on governments and civil society to prevent tobacco industry from derailing the implementation of the Framework Convention.

In a statement issued to the press, the Secretary General urged nations to pursue collective vision of a tobacco-free world.

“I urge all governments and civil society to prevent the tobacco industry from derailing the implementation of the Framework Convention.  Let us resist the industry’s attacks and pursue our vision of a tobacco-free world,” Ban Ki-moon said.

The UN chief underlined that this year’s World No Tobacco Day comes at a time when the tobacco industry is taking ever more aggressive steps to “undermine” efforts to reduce the global menace of tobacco.

“While governments and the international health community try to implement effective measures to contain tobacco use and protect the health of people, their efforts are being aggressively opposed by an industry whose products kill people,” he added.

The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control — with 174 parties — became one of the most rapidly embraced treaties in United Nations history after it entered into force in 2005.  In the Political Declaration adopted at the High-Level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases last year, the international community reiterated its determination to reduce tobacco consumption and availability.

Tobacco kills by causing cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases.  It is one of the leading preventable risk factors for non-communicable diseases.  Every year, about 5 million people die because they use tobacco.  Another 600,000 people die from exposure to second-hand smoke.
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