A new report released by the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health titled Global Health 2035: A World Converging within a Generation outlines a new pro-poor health investment plan to achieve dramatic health gains within a generation.
The Commission, made up of global health and economic experts from around the world, found that there is an enormous benefit from investing in health and that fiscal policies – in particular tobacco taxes – are a powerful and underused lever for curbing non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
- Over the last 20 years, there has been a significant shift in the global disease burden of disease towards NCDs, particularly heart disease and cancers caused by tobacco. NCDs are now a leading cause of death in most countries.
- The single most important action governments can take to curb NCDs is to tax tobacco heavily. This finding is based on extensive evidence, including the experience of low- and middle-income countries.
- National governments can curb NCDs and raise significant revenue by heavily taxing tobacco and other harmful substances. Such revenue can be used to further improve health.
- Stronger international action is needed to monitor and support implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
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The Lancet is one of the world’s oldest and most respected general medical journals. For more than 180 years, it has served as an independent and authoritative voice in global medicine.