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WHO FCTC: key to recovery from COVID-19 and build back better
Tuesday, 6 July 2021
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Virtual (NY Time)

Side Event

Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC Convention Secretariat)

Tobacco use has deleterious effect not only for health but also for society, the economy and the environment. It burdens national health care systems, and in 2012, the global economy lost USD 1.4 trillion in health care costs and lost productivity due to smoking-attributable diseases, equivalent to 1.8% of the world's annual gross domestic product. Additionally, tobacco use fuels, deepens social inequities and increases poverty. It inhibits socioeconomic development at the household, national, and global levels, as well as infringing human rights and obstructing progress toward achieving not only SDG 3.4 but also many other goals. In short, tobacco is a burden to development.

The side event will discuss the positive impact that the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) can play in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in general but also how it can contribute to a sustainable COVID-19 recovery.

Tobacco is a common risk factor of the major noncommunicable diseases - cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes – and curbing its use will be fundamental to achieving Target 3.4.

Also, tobacco synergizes with the COVID-19 pandemic not only in health outcomes, with smokers having worse outcomes when hospitalized with COVID, but also in the increase of inequalities within and across countries. Finally, one of the most effective measures to curb tobacco use -fiscal policies - can at the same time provide governments with much needed financial resources.

In this context, pannelists will share experiences and discuss challenges related to the implementation and interdependency of SDGs, including addressing the intensified corporate social responsibility activities of the tobacco industry as a strategy to interfere with public health policies.

  • Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo, Head of Secretariat of the WHO FCTC

  • Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo, Head of Secretariat of the WHO FCTC

    Welcome and introductory remark:
  • H.E. Mr Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, President of Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC
  • Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, Deputy Director-General, World Health Organization

    Series of statements:
  • Mr Amar Ramadhin, Minister of Health, Suriname
  • Ms Jo Churchill, Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, Department of Health and Social Care, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Dr Oleg Salagay, Deputy Minister of Health, Russian Federation
  • Dr Palitha Abeykoon, WHO Director-General Special Envoy for COVID-19 Preparedness and Response for WHO South-East Asia Region and Former Chairman of National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol in Sri Lanka
  • Ms Leslie Rae Ferat, Executive Director, Framework Convention Alliance

  • United Nations