European Cancer Organisation

NEWS: Tobacco – a product Europe can do without

World No Tobacco DayOn the occasion of World No Tobacco Day (WNTD),  the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) is joining with others around the globe to call out the dangers to health and development posed by tobacco and to give support to continuing measures to combat the tobacco burden.

ECCO, representing health care professionals in oncology, reminds policy makers and legislators of the clear and established links between the carcinogenic properties of tobacco and cancer incidence rates. Stricter tobacco regulation and decreased tobacco product accessibility continue to be necessary to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cancers. Birgit Beger, Chief Executive Officer of ECCO said:

“At a time when the role and nature of the European Union is a subject of public debate, it is important to remind ourselves of the many EU success stories, including, in the field of tobacco regulation. Bringing countries together to develop joint responses to public health threats such as tobacco will always be valuable and necessary. World No Tobacco Day reminds us that while the battle against carcinogens is an international one, there remains the importance of national implementation to achieve success.”

Approximately 6 million individuals die from tobacco use each year. It is estimated that global inaction will see this figure increase to 8 million by 2030. Tobacco use stresses national economies and strains health systems leading to further inequalities. Tobacco control is enshrined in the Sustainable Development Agenda, and is viewed as the most effective measure for a one-third reduction of premature deaths from NCDs. World Health Organization (WHO) is urging states to bring tobacco control efforts to the forefront of national agendas as part of a global effort to support sustainable health and development. 

Linda McAvan MEP, Chair of the European Parliament Development Committee, will host this year’s WNTD policy debate at the European Parliament. The EU’s Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, representatives of WHO, the World Bank and DG DEVCO will contribute to the discussion of policy development aimed at reducing the harm of tobacco production and consumption. 

Notes to the Editor
Through its 25 Member Societies - representing over 170 000 professionals - ECCO is the only multidisciplinary organisation that connects and responds to all stakeholders in oncology Europe-wide. ECCO is a not-for-profit federation that exists to uphold the right of all European cancer patients to the best possible treatment and care, promoting interaction between all organisations involved in cancer at European level. 

Agnese Abolina
Communications & Marketing Coordinator
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