WHO de­clares to­bacco a threat to de­vel­op­ment

New Straits Times - - World -

BANGKOK: The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion has de­clared to­bacco a threat to de­vel­op­ment to com­mem­o­rate this year’s “World No To­bacco Day”.

To­bacco wors­ens poverty, dam­ages health and causes dev­as­tat­ing so­cial, eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal harm to the Asean com­mu­nity and the world.

The South­east Asia To­bacco Con­trol Al­liance (Seatca) urges Asean coun­tries to in­vest in ef­fec­tive to­bacco con­trol in their de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes like in­creas­ing to­bacco taxes.

Ac­cord­ing to Seatca ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Bun­gon Rit­thiphakdee, to­bacco is a threat to at­tain­ment of the United Na­tions Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals in the fol­low­ing ways:

GROW­ING to­bacco takes away land from food pro­duc­tion;

CHILD labour in to­bacco farms de­prives chil­dren of ed­u­ca­tion;

TO­BACCO farm­ers are forced to make and pay in­ter­est on large loans, and are paid low prices by leaf buy­ers;

TO­BACCO farm­ers (in­clud­ing chil­dren) are at risk of Green To­bacco Sick­ness and other skin and res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases;

CHEM­I­CAL fer­tilis­ers and pes­ti­cides in to­bacco farm­ing poi­son land and wa­ter sources; and,

TOXIC and non-biodegrad­able cig­a­rette butts are a ma­jor land and marine pol­lu­tant.

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