Ten Million Doctors From Around The World Call On Governments To Take Action On Tobacco


With one billion people estimated to die in the 21st century from tobacco-related causes, organisations representing more than 10 million doctors from around the globe have come together to call on governments to act now to cut tobacco use.

On Monday 21 October the British Medical Asssociation (BMA) Tobacco Control Resource Centre will launch the document, 'Tobacco Under The Microscope: The Doctors' Manifesto For Global Tobacco Control'. Click here to access the document

Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director General of the World Health Organisation will be presented with the Manifesto by representatives of the World Medical Association, the Commonwealth Medical Association, the European Forum of Medical Associations and the Standing Committee of European Doctors.

'Tobacco Under The Microscope: The Doctors' Manifesto For Global Tobacco Control' will be unveiled in Geneva* at 12pm in the Library of Press Room 2 at Palais des Nations during the governmental negotiations for the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The Manifesto calls on all governments to ensure that the Framework Convention includes measures to:

  • Include a clear, informative health warning on every packet of tobacco
  • End misleading claims that some cigarettes are safer than others
  • Increase tobacco taxes
  • End all tobacco advertising
  • Protect non-smokers from tobacco smoke

The Manifesto also highlights the importance of ensuring that the FCTC gives the highest possible priority to health, by ensuring that health takes precedent over commercial trade.

The document contains a foreword by Sir Richard Doll who uncovered the evidence linking smoking to lung cancer 50 years ago. Dr C Everett Koop, former US Surgeon-General, contributes an introductory statement.

The document includes personal statements of support from thirty eminent doctors from across the world, and is endorsed by organisations whose membership includes more than 130 medical associations in 117 countries.

Dr Sinéad Jones, Director of the Tobacco Control Resource Centre, said today: "Tobacco is not just a matter for doctors. National governments and international bodies must also act. Tobacco will kill almost five million people in the next 12 months. Doctors want to see a meaningful Framework Convention ? one based on measures that we know will save lives."

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the British Medical Association's Head of Science and Ethics, added: "The BMA is very proud to launch this document. It is the voice of doctors from around the world calling on their governments to end the needless deaths that occur everyday because of tobacco consumption.

This deadly trade in tobacco condemns millions world wide to disability and an early death. It's time we protected vulnerable people, including children, and protected health not the tobacco traders."

Dr Delon Human, Secretary-General of the World Medical Association, stated:

"Physicians see on a daily basis the life-shattering effects of tobacco use for those who smoke and those who inhale the smoke of others. Although physicians can play a very important role in preventative and curative care, we must stand together in demanding effective regulation and legislation by governments, to prevent this epidemic."

Dr Jane Richards, Secretary of the Commonwealth Medical Association agrees:

"Tobacco is of particular importance to developing countries, whose populations already suffer disproportionately from infections such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Commonwealth Medical Association fully supports this Manifesto."