Cigarettes are the only consumer good that kills when used as their manufacturer intends. This has become normal in our society, but it shouldn’t be. To highlight the abnormality of cigarettes and their death toll, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) released a new video calling for the end of cigarette sales.
“It is time for cigarettes to be regulated in a way that is proportionate to the harm they cause,” said ASH Executive Director Laurent Huber. “In the 21st century, society is facing numerous public health challenges to which researchers are still searching for solutions. We must unite to end the tobacco epidemic which has a known and clear path to eradication: ending the commercial sale of cigarettes.”
In September 2017, 123 public health organizations from 43 countries echoed this sentiment with a letter to the CEO of Philip Morris International, demanding that PMI implement its former human rights partner’s recommendation by immediately ceasing the production and marketing of tobacco.
While many Americans may not face assault from secondhand smoke on a daily basis anymore, that is not an indicator of a decline in the tobacco epidemic. The toll of tobacco products has moved to marginalized populations in the U.S. and abroad. Today, one person dies every 4.5 seconds from a tobacco-related disease. In the U.S., over half a million fathers, mothers, and children are snatched from us before their time every year. This catastrophe is completely preventable.
Tobacco companies profit by intentionally addicting their customers, and have been given a “get out of jail free” card for all the death and disease tobacco products inevitably cause. But ASH is determined to see the end of the tobacco epidemic. We will continue to press to hold tobacco executives criminally liable – several cases are already pending. And we will work to take cigarettes, and other combustible tobacco products, off the market. A world where tobacco is no longer sold for profit is just over the horizon.
ACTION ON SMOKING AND HEALTH
Founded in 1967, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is America’s oldest anti-tobacco organization, dedicated to a world with ZERO tobacco deaths. Because tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, ASH supports bold solutions proportionate to the magnitude of the problem. www.ash.org