Physicians Worldwide Must Declare War Against Tobacco, Says WMA

In a statement to mark World No Tobacco Day on Sunday, the World Medical Association, representing eight million physicians worldwide, has condemned tobacco as one of the greatest threats to the health and safety of mankind.

Dr Delon Human, secretary general of the WMA, said: "There is indisputable evidence that smoking causes gross damage to the health of smokers. Even more worrying is that new research has confirmed the dangers of passive smoking. According to the latest results of a WHO study done in twelve European countries over the last seven years, passive smoking causes lung cancer in non smokers."

Approximately 400 billion dollars of income is generated every year for the manufacturers of this toxic substance. Only one billion dollars is spent annually on research and development of preventive health techniques and treatment of tobacco-related illness. If one considers that such an income could have been used to vaccinate all the children of the world, it shows what an appalling situation it is - tobacco is indeed a crime against humanity.

Tragically, the tobacco industry is focusing on the vulnerable segments of society and the developing countries of the world to maintain its profits. This year's World No Tobacco Day is aimed at children and young people. The youth of the world is now the target market for tobacco manufacturers, and China now has the highest number of smokers in the world.

We as physicians ask:

  • How many people must spend their lives wheezing because of tobacco-destroyed lungs ?
  • How many patients must die of lung cancer ?
  • How many precious dollars must be misused to first induce and then treat illness ?
  • How long before the world stops this universal cancer ?

"The medical profession cannot afford to sit back. Physicians everywhere must declare war against tobacco."