Tobacco remains the biggest public health threat of our time, killing around 6 million people globally every single year. More than 5 million of these deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than half a million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless strong actions are continued to be pursued by countries, the annual toll is expected to increase to 8 million per year by 2030, or 10% of all deaths projected to occur that year.
Nearly 80% of the world’s 1 billion smokers live in low-and middle-income countries. As with NCDs in general, the Asia/Pacific is one of the world’s most affected regions in terms of tobacco use and its impact on health. 6000 people die prematurely every day from tobacco-related diseases in the Asia/Pacific, equating to 2.3 million deaths per year. The economic burden on the region proves to be crushing. Families are deprived of breadwinners, public health costs for the treatment of tobacco-related diseases are enormous, and economic productivity decreases considerably. Moreover, in most regional economies, the health cost burden from tobacco use exceeds the total tax revenue collected by the governments from tobacco products. The daily smoking rate for men in Asian countries is significantly higher at 35% than the OECD average of 24%, although the proportion of daily smokers varies greatly over countries. There are large female-male disparities in the Asia/Pacific with less than 5% of women to report smoking daily.
An alarming lack of public awareness of the grave risks and dangers of tobacco use exists in many countries in the Asia/Pacific. Furthermore, regional tobacco control measures are lax. NCDAPA aims to raise awareness of the devastating health and economic effects tobacco use has in the Asia/Pacific region and advocates the global target of a 30% relative reduction in prevalence of current tobacco use in persons aged 15 years and over by 2025 (using 2010 as baseline) as well as cost effective WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control measures, such as:
- Reducing the affordability of tobacco products by increasing tobacco excise taxes
- Creating by law completely smoke-free environments in all indoor workplaces, indoor public places and public transport
- Alerting people to the dangers of tobacco and tobacco smoke through effective health warnings and mass media campaigns
- Banning all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; the introduction of plain packaging is this year’s main emphasis of World No Tobacco Day
To learn more about World No Tobacco Day 2016, please visit: