On World No Tobacco Day, Governments… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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On World No Tobacco Day, Governments Must Protect People over Industry Profits

Statement of Yolonda Richardson, Executive Vice President, Global Programs of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
May 30, 2023

Washington, D.C. - This World No Tobacco Day, observed each year on May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for action against the tobacco industry’s human and environmental toll.

Harming human and environmental health is pivotal to the business model of multinational tobacco companies like Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco. Millions of people die every year due to Big Tobacco’s profit-over-people model. Low- and middle-income countries increasingly feel this burden, with 80 percent of tobacco-related deaths from diseases such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease projected to be in such countries by 2030. And the tobacco industry traps farmers with unsustainable crops and appropriates arable land to grow tobacco used for deadly products.

On this year’s World No Tobacco Day, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids joins the WHO in calling on governments to stand up to the tobacco industry’s exploitative practices and the devastating impacts of its deadly products. One in 10 adult deaths around the globe are due to tobacco use. By holding the industry accountable and through the implementation of proven tobacco control measures, we have the power to protect future generations from tobacco-related death and disease.

It is critical that governments act with urgency to address tobacco’s burden by passing the proven tobacco control interventions contained in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Without urgent action, tobacco use will kill one billion people this century, lock tobacco farmers into a lifetime of poverty, and cause continued harm to the environment.