(March 9, 2009, Mumbai, India) Today World Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society published The Tobacco Atlas, Third Edition and released an online version of the document at TobaccoAtlas.org. This comprehensive volume of research and its accompanying website graphically display how tobacco is devastating both global health and economies.
A $500 Billion Hole in Global Economy
According to The Tobacco Atlas, tobacco's estimated $500 billion drain on the world economy exceeds the total combined annual expenditure on health in all low-and middle-income countries. The economic costs come as a result of lost productivity, misused resources, ineffective taxation and premature death:
Burden Shift to the World's Poorest Countries
The Tobacco Atlas crystallizes an undeniable trend: the tobacco industry has shifted its marketing and sales efforts to countries that have less effective public health policies and fewer resources in place:
"The Tobacco Atlas is crucial to understanding the nature of the most preventable global health epidemic," said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D. chief executive officer, American Cancer Society. "This single resource can help advocates in every nation get the knowledge they need to combat the scourge of tobacco in their communities and on the worldwide stage. By utilizing the information in The Tobacco Atlas to develop public health strategies to reduce tobacco use and help people stay well, we will save millions of lives. "
"Common throughout The Tobacco Atlas is vivid evidence that the health burden is shifting from high-income countries to their low and middle-income counterparts," said Peter Baldini, chief executive officer, World Lung Foundation." The evidence presented herein and online, however, must do more than clearly articulate the scope and dimensions of the problem. It should be applied actively to strengthen the case for policy change."
The four authors of the publication bring together an impressive array of credentials and unique experience. Omar Shafey, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a medical anthropologist and epidemiologist, and an adjunct professor of Global Health at Emory University. Among many publications and studies, he was a coauthor of the second edition of The Tobacco Atlas. Michael Eriksen, Sc.D., is a professor and founding director of the Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University. He has been a Senior Advisor to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and was director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking and Health. Hana Ross, Ph.D. is an economist and strategic director of international tobacco control research at the American Cancer Society. She is also deputy director of the International Tobacco Network (ITEN), a network promoting collaboration among economists interested in tobacco control issues. Judith Mackay. M.D., is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh and London, and a special advisor at World Lung Foundation. She is also a senior policy advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) and a director of the Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control.
The new online version of the publication, TobaccoAtlas.org, enables policy makers, public health practitioners, advocates and journalists interact with the data and create customizable charts, graphs and maps.
|Contact: Andrew Becker|
American Cancer Society