A tobacco-free world – where less than 5% of adults use tobacco – could be possible in less than three decades, argue public health experts from New Zealand.
According to Professor Robert Beaglehole and Ruth Bonita from the University of Auckland the time has come for the world to acknowledge the unacceptability of the damage being done by the tobacco industry and work towards a world essentially free from the legal and illegal sale of tobacco products.
“A world where tobacco is out of sight, out of mind, and out of fashion – yet not prohibited – is achievable in less than three decades from now, but only with full commitment from governments, international agencies, such as UN and WHO, and civil society,” he said.
To achieve this goal the most urgent priorities were (in numerical order):
1. The inclusion of an ambitious tobacco reduction target in the post-2015 sustainable development health goal.
2. Accelerated implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in all countries, with full engagement from all sectors, and with increased national and global investment.
3. Amendment of the FCTC to include an ambitious global tobacco reduction goal; and
4. A UN high-level meeting on tobacco use to galvanise global and national action towards the tobacco-free world by 2040 goal.