smoking Stefan Zabunov/ZumaPress

Gravar al tabaco

GINEBRA – En el transcurso de los últimos diez años, se han hecho progresos impresionantes en la lucha contra la epidemia del tabaco. Impulsados por el Convenio Marco de la Organización Mundial de la Salud sobre el Control del Tabaco, que entró en vigencia en 2005, la mayoría de los países han lanzado programas integrales de control del tabaquismo. Pero todavía hay mucho por hacerse. Si no se aborda la epidemia de tabaco, la OMS estima que matará a mil millones de personas en el curso de este siglo.

El consumo de tabaco podría llegar a minar el desarrollo económico y social en todo el mundo. Para compensarlo, la OMS ha identificado seis políticas -encapsuladas en el acrónimo MPOWER- que pueden aniquilar la epidemia del tabaco: monitorear el consumo de tabaco y las políticas de prevención; proteger a la gente del humo del cigarrillo; ofrecer ayuda para dejar de fumar; advertir a la gente sobre los peligros del tabaco; implementar prohibiciones en materia de publicidad, promoción y patrocinio del tabaco, y aumentar los impuestos al tabaco.

Cada letra del acrónimo es importante y necesaria en la lucha contra la epidemia del tabaco. Pero la última -aumentar los impuestos a los productos derivados del tabaco- merece una atención especial. Según el último Informe de la OMS sobre la Epidemia de Tabaco Global, aumentar los impuestos al tabaco es una de las medidas más baratas y más efectivas para prevenir muertes y sufrimiento. Desafortunadamente, es una herramienta que pocos países están utilizando.

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