WHO: Hooking the next generation: how the tobacco industry captures young customers (6)

26 May, 2024

Dear HIFA colleagues,

Joseph Ana says: "It appears that the ‘GDP and economic growth’ is more important than human well-being and health!"

It is true that some countries collect a substantial amount of tax from the sles of tobacco. The UK, for example, collects £6 ($8) for every packet of 20 cigarettes. New Zealand collects mor ethan double this - about $20 per 20 cigarettes, or a dollar per cigarette. Imagine if your country were to do the same.

However, the *negative* impact of tobacco on the economy is far greater. According to a World Health Organization report, smoking costs the world’s economies more than US$ 1 trillion annually in healthcare expenditure and lost productivity. https://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/m21_complet...

The bottom line is: 'Tobacco control does not harm economies.' https://ash.org.uk/resources/view/the-economics-of-tobacco

There are overwhelming reasons why governments should strengthen tobacco control. Not just with taxes, but also with information. As HIFA and the New York Law School have demonstrated, governments have an obligation under international human rights law to ensure that their population is adequately informed about the health consequences (and indeed economic consequences) of tobacco.

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: neil@hifa.org