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The Right To Life!

It is universally acknowledged that smoking negatively impacts the right to life and the right to health. World Health Organization data indicates that tobacco is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. Over 80% of tobacco users live in low- and middle-income countries, where tobacco-related illnesses and deaths are the most severe. Additionally, tobacco farmers face several health risks, including the 'green tobacco disease.'

Approximately 8 million people worldwide die from tobacco-related diseases each year. Over 7 million of these deaths are related to direct tobacco use, while 1 million are caused by secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers.

World No Tobacco Day is observed on May 31 to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco use and what can be done to reduce it. In 2022, the United Nations is bringing to attention the study of the impact of smoking on the environment under the theme "Tobacco: Threat to our environment."

The WHO has discussed in the last 15 years increasing the implementation of six tobacco control measures (MPOWER) in order to reduce the negative impact of smoking on the population. In addition to monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies, these measures include protecting people from tobacco use, providing assistance to people quitting smoking, warning the public about the dangers of tobacco use, enforcing advertising bans, and increasing tobacco taxes.

For more than a century, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has warned its youth and the general public regarding the addictive and health-destroying nature of tobacco smoking. According to the Adventist official statement on the tobacco issue, the existence and enforcement of stricter laws banning smoking in public places, more aggressive and systematic public education, and substantially higher cigarette taxes are just some of the measures that should be taken to save millions of lives each year.

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Pastor Nelu Burcea, PhD