WHO declares tobacco a threat to development
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.