Integrating tobacco control into health and development agendas

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Abstract

Tobacco use is one of the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases, with a profound impact on resource-poor low-income and middle-income countries such as India, where tobacco use is high and where socioeconomic as well as health inequalities are rampant. Effective implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requires multisectoral efforts that can fructify through integration of tobacco control into broader health and development agendas such as food and water security, environment, the right to education and human rights. The global tobacco control community will need to explore innovative partnerships beyond its traditional confines and build a global coalition that supports tobacco control by partnering with others having convergent concerns on common determinants. A firm political commitment and intersectoral coordination between government and non-government agencies is paramount in order to implement effective tobacco control programmes. Integration of tobacco control into other health and development agendas as described in this paper has the potential to contribute to the achievement of all the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals. This paper explores why the whole of government should accord a high priority to tobacco control, and how this integration could be achieved.

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