countries to ban smoking in the workplace and indoor public spaces, outlaw marketing of tobacco products and hike cigarette prices.
“Tobacco threatens us all,” WHO chief Margaret Chan said in a statement. “Tobacco exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices and pollutes indoor air,” she said.
In a report released ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Wednesday, WHO warned that the annual death toll of 7 million people had jumped from 4 million at the turn of the century, making tobacco the world’s single biggest cause of preventable death.
Tobacco use also brings an economic cost
WHO estimates that it drains more than $1.4 trillion from households and governments each year in healthcare expenditures and lost productivity, or nearly 2 percent of the global gross domestic product. In addition to the health and economic costs linked to smoking, the report for the first time delved into the environmental impact of everything from tobacco production to the cigarette butts and other waste produced by smokers.