smoking Stefan Zabunov/ZumaPress


GENEVA – In den letzten zehn Jahren wurden im Kampf gegen die Tabakepidemie beeindruckende Fortschritte erzielt. Im Zuge des Rahmenübereinkommens der WHO zur Eindämmung des Tabakkonsums von 2005 haben die meisten Länder umfassende Programme zur Kontrolle des Tabakkonsums ins Leben gerufen. Aber es bleibt noch viel zu tun. Laut Schätzungen der WHO wird die Tabakepidemie im Laufe dieses Jahrhunderts eine Milliarde Menschen töten, wenn man nicht weiter gegen sie vorgeht.

Tabaknutzung hat das Potenzial, die wirtschaftliche und soziale Entwicklung weltweit zu untergraben. Um das auszugleichen, hat die WHO unter dem Akronym MPOWER sechs Schlüsselbereiche definiert, die die Tabakepidemie stoppen können: Überwachung der Tabaknutzung und Prävention (monitor), Schutz der Menschen vor Tabakrauch (protect), Unterstützung für Menschen, die das Rauchen aufgeben wollen (offer help), Aufklärung über die Gefahren des Tabaks (warning), Verbot von Tabakwerbung sowie von Marketing und Sponsoring durch Tabakfirmen (enforce bans) und schließlich die Erhöhung der Tabaksteuer (raise taxes).

Jeder Buchstabe des Akronyms ist wichtig und notwendig für den Kampf gegen die Tabakepidemie. Aber die letzte Maßnahme - Erhöhung der Steuern auf Tabakprodukte - verdient unsere besondere Aufmerksamkeit. Nach dem letzten Bericht der WHO zur globalen Tabakepidemie gehört die Erhebung von Steuern auf Tabak zu den günstigsten und effektivsten Maßnahmen zur Verhinderung von Tod und Leid. Leider ist es ein Instrument, das nur wenige Länder nutzen.

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