Stop growing tobacco to grow food and increase taxes on the price of packs are the main demands worldwide, he said Adriana Blanco Marquizo, Head of the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The theme of World No Tobacco Day this year is focused on tobacco growers, in order to implement the reconversion for more beneficial and healthy crops and that also allow solving food insufficiency”, he said in an interview with Excelsior in the framework of the Day World without Tobacco, which is commemorated next Wednesday.
This proposal allows solving three problems: on the one hand, it reduces tobacco consumption; on the other, a better life alternative is generated for farmers and finally, beneficial food alternatives are generated for the population.
With the cultivation of this plant, environmental problems arise, since the soil requires pesticides and they cannot be used for alternative crops, explained the expert of Uruguayan origin.
In addition, the cultivation of tobacco is a reason for desertification, because forests are cut down to make land, for the cultivation of the leaf forests are cut down because wood is required, they require intensive water consumption and the use of fertilizers contaminates land and water sources.
End of the game
Twenty years ago, on May 21, 2003, the General Assembly of Health adopted this agreement, with an accelerated acceptance among the member countries.
Currently, for some countries, the goal is for less than 5% of the population to be smokers, as a scenario in which the tobacco problem is controlled from a public health point of view, he added.
This is a provision known as end game or End of the game.
It is a process that requires preparation, but in general, the greatest resistance comes from the industry,” said Blanco Marquizo, who participated in the implementation of smoke-free spaces in his country.
If the population is well informed about the regulation, in general it is not such a difficult measure, because people understand that it is a law that benefits everyone. Many are even encouraged to quit smoking, defended the specialist who has held the position since 2020.
Although the countries have a tax, the ideal percentage is in the final price that the total taxes represent 75 percent. Progress could also be made, he added, on the issue of promoting advertising and sponsorship.
A topic that clearly has an impact on the initiation of young people,” he said.
Another part is the creation of a protocol to eliminate the illicit tobacco trade, a practice that sometimes succeeds in undermining measures to reduce consumption, he added.
In the 20th century, smoking was allowed in public places, even indoors, like the movies.
Today, platform television series have a warning stating that their characters use tobacco.
The change began when the attitude of society towards tobacco began to change, smoke-free environments are important in this change. With that it is clear that smoking is not the norm. When we begin to set limits, that you can’t smoke here, it becomes clear that it is not the norm or what is acceptable,” said Blanco Marquizo.
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