Tobacco and social justice – an important new track for the World Conference on Tobacco or Health

Around the world 20 February is celebrated as the United Nation’s World Day of Social Justice – recognising that social justice cannot be attained in the absence of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

For the first time this year the World Conference on Tobacco or Health has a dedicated track for social justice issues related to tobacco and the consequences of addiction – from child labour on tobacco farms, to tobacco industry marketing campaigns designed to target vulnerable groups such as children.

Tobacco use kills more than seven million people each year. And nearly 80 percent of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.

“For the first time in 50 years we are having a designated track on social justice issues that’s going to look at issues around women and gender, vulnerable populations and poverty and indigenous people. And this is new, we haven’t sectioned this out before, but it’s so needed,” said Dr Lorraine Greaves, Senior Investigator at British Columbia’s Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health.

Sessions will focus on tobacco, inequality and poverty; youth tobacco experience; tobacco in vulnerable populations; tobacco farming; tobacco and women – the gendered nature of tobacco. Policies that tackle health inequalities – increasing tobacco taxes, bans on point-of-sale advertising, ‘plain’ or standardised tobacco packaging and innovations in therapies to support cessation – will be assessed using country-specific examples.

Find out more here.


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