World No Tobacco Day, which will take place on Tuesday, 31 May 2011.
The healthcare community is aware that the goals of the tobacco industry and those of the public health community are diametrically opposed. The tobacco industry exists to make money. To do that, it needs to sell tobacco, which when used as directed, kills up to half its users. It's in the tobacco industry's best interest to subvert any challenges to it's goals.
By contrast, the public health community exists to save lives.
That's the goal for WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
According to the treaty’s guidelines, "The tobacco industry produces and promotes a product that has been proven scientifically to be addictive, to cause disease and death and to give rise to a variety of social ills, including increased poverty. Therefore, Parties should protect the formulation and implementation of public health policies for tobacco control from the tobacco industry to the greatest extent possible."
The tobacco epidemic poses a formidable challenge to public health and development. But with the WHO FCTC, the odds against mitigating the epidemic are no longer insurmountable, if Parties to this framework tirelessly pursue full implementation. Because as we all know, it's in everyone's best interest if we achieve our goals of reducing or eliminating tobacco use.
So, let's Party.
We can make every day World No Tobacco Day. By doing so, we stand the biggest chance of achieving what could be the single largest positive impact on health in this century.