Tobacco Stands Alone
There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco. When used as intended, tobacco will have contributed to the early death of two out of three smokers (source). The scale of negative impact of tobacco is profound, causing an estimated six million deaths per year globally (source). Positive influence of the industry through professional engagement is futile as the only acceptable outcome would be for tobacco companies to cease their primary business.
Numerous international health organisations are actively working with governments of the developing world to enhance tobacco control regulation and reduce tobacco consumption. In addition, major class actions against tobacco companies pose considerable financial risk.
Investment in tobacco companies implies endorsement of the product itself and of the industry as a whole.
Human Rights Abuse
Almost no cigarette can be guaranteed to be free from child labour (source).
A Paradigm Shift
In recognition of the global ‘tobacco epidemic’ in 2004 the World Health Organisation established the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the world’s first legally binding health treaty. There are now 180 Parties (source), including the European Community, which makes it one of the most widely embraced treaties in United Nations’ history. Parties have committed to implementing a broad range of tobacco control measures to reduce the number of new smokers and to encourage current smokers to quit, in a global commitment to ending the tobacco epidemic.