World Health Organization
منظمة الصحة العالمية
Organisation mondiale de la Santé

Tobacco damages more than health; stop tobacco and drive sustainable development


Cairo, Egypt, 18 May, 2017 — On this World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on governments, partners, communities and individuals to stop using tobacco and drive sustainable development. The slogan for this year’s Day is “Say no to tobacco”. Tobacco control can protect health, reduce poverty and promote development.  

Each year, more than 7 million people die from tobacco use. This figure includes the 900 000 that die from exposure to secondhand smoke. Over 80% of these deaths occur in low- or middle-income countries. These countries bear almost 40% of the global economic cost of smoking from health expenditures and lost productivity, estimated at over US$ 1.4 trillion.

In some countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region, smoking can be as high as 52% among men and 22% among women. Data for young boys and girls are equally alarming. Smoking can reach 42% among boys and 31% among girls. Dr Mahmoud Fikri, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, says, “We can beat tobacco by implementing the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), and adopting the MPOWER measures to reduce demand for this deadly product. The comprehensive implementation of the WHO FCTC and the MPOWER measures to reduce tobacco use in the Region would lead to a reduction in tobacco use ranging from 20% to 40% in 5 years and, in some countries, by up to 36% in 5 years, and 56% in 15 years.”

Tobacco damages more than health 

Tobacco use has devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences. It is a major barrier to sustainable development. Tobacco use impacts health, poverty, global hunger, education, economic growth, gender equality, the environment, finance and governance.

Tobacco impacts health. Tobacco damages health and causes illnesses and premature death, which leads to increased health care costs and lost productivity.

Stop tobacco, save lives

“Tobacco control saves lives and reduces health inequalities,” urges Dr Fikri. It can also break the cycle of poverty, contribute to ending hunger, promote sustainable agriculture and economic growth, and combat climate change. 
For more information, please contact:

Ms Nisreen Abdel Latif
WHO Communications
Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health
Tel: +2 0122 319 5140
email: Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir.  

Dr Fatimah El Awa
Regional Adviser
Tobacco Free Initiative
Tel: +2 0100 006 9767
email: Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir.