People have died from tobacco-related diseases since the opening of the first FCTC working group on 28 October 1999.
The first world summit on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will take place in 2011, leading the global health emergency one step closer to preventing millions of unnecessary deaths every year.
NCDs include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases – of which tobacco use is the most significant risk factor.
These four diseases are responsible for 35 million deaths a year globally, with 80 per cent of them being in low to middle income countries.
According to the recently released World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2010, NCDs could cost the world in excess of one trillion US dollars a year - driving up health costs while reducing productivity and economic growth.
FCA director Laurent Huber said the summit will help focus on reducing NCDs by strengthening health-systems, improving access to essential medicines and, most importantly, tackling tobacco use and other risk factors.
“As tobacco use is the most significant risk factor for these diseases, comprehensive action to reduce smoking worldwide must be prioritized.”
The summit will unite government representatives and public health experts from around the world to assess NCDs’ dangers, and develop action plans.
“With comprehensive action, funding and political support, this important gathering of world leaders can bring about a fundamental shift in the way nations tackle NCDs,” said Hubert.
“The summit means we are one step closer to dealing with a global health emergency and preventing millions of unnecessary deaths each year.”
The summit will take place September 2011 at UN headquarters in New York City, USA.