18 January 2022

Source: Action on Smoking & Health

Statement to the Fourth Human Rights Council intersessional meeting for Dialogue and Cooperation on Human Rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (18 January 2022)

On behalf of Action on Smoking and Health and 30 signatory organizations I would like to take a moment to draw attention to the importance of addressing the negative impact tobacco has on human rights and the 2030 development agenda.

Tobacco remains the leading cause of global preventable death.  Left unchecked, tobacco will kill 1 billion people this century with approximately 80% of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial tobacco and the actions of the tobacco industry have been even more of a hurdle to achieving human rights and development goals. Tobacco is a known risk factor for respiratory diseases and recent evidence strongly suggests that smokers are up to 50% more likely to have worse outcomes from COVID-19. In addition to the human cost, tobacco costs the global economy up to two percent of its GDP.

The evidence-based measures set out in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (the FCTC) such as increasing taxes on tobacco products have been identified by the World Health Organization as “best buys” for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. These best practices will help states achieve development goals and save lives. This potential impact was recognized by UN Member States when they included Target 3.A in the SDGs, calling on countries to strengthen the implementation of the FCTC, and we urge this intersessional meeting to continue that focus.

Tobacco exacerbates inequalities, perpetuates poverty, and is a barrier to achieving development as well as a barrier to achieving the right to health. By accelerating the implementation of the FCTC, the world will also accelerate progress towards the SDGs and human rights goals.


Action on Smoking and Health

Ärzte gegen Raucherschäden

African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA)

Alliance Contre le Tabac (ACT)

ASH Canada

ASH Finland

ASH Scotland (UK)

Association Health Mission, Belgrade

Austrian Council on Smoking and Health

BlueLink Foundation


Cancer Research UK

Cancer Society of Finland

Corporate Accountability

DNF (Demain sera Non-Fumeur)

Fresh (Making Smoking History)

Health Funds for a Smokefree Netherlands

International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

Israel Cancer Association

Norwegian Cancer Society

Slovenian Coalition for Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control

Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance

Smoke-free Life Coalition

Smoke Free Partnership

STOP: A Tobacco Industry Watch Dog

Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum

Te Ao Hurihuri

Tobacco Free Association of Zambia

Tobacco Free Portfolios

University of Campinas (Brazil) Laboratrãio de Polãticas Pãoblicas e Planejamento Educacional



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