ICN Joins other Health Professionals calling for a
Tobacco Free World on World No Tobacco Day 1999
The International Council of Nurses (ICN)
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)
World Medical Association (WMA)
Health Professionals are alarmed at the increasing and
widespread use of tobacco products.
- Currently there are 1.2 billion smokers world-wide
- Annually, tobacco kills 4 million people world-wide,
which could increase to 10 million people annually by 2020
- Unless the trend is reversed, tobacco related mortality
could account for 70% of all deaths by the year 2020
- Harmful substances from second hand or environmental
tobacco smoke cause a serious health threat to millions of non-smokers
- Nearly 80% of smokers start the habit before the age
of 18 years.
It is of particular concern to the health professionals
of the world that the tobacco industry is increasingly targeting young people,
women and the developing countries to expand their markets.
Although the health consequences of tobacco are now well
documented, measures to deal with them so far are shamefully inadequate. Therefore,
the World Medical Association (WMA), International Council of Nurses (ICN),
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), International Dental Federation
(FDI) and the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) urge national
health professional associations:
- To unite their efforts in the war against tobacco
use, and to actively work for a tobacco-free world.
- To co-ordinate efforts with other national anti-smoking
groups to bring to the attention of their governments the harmful effects
of tobacco and encourage their governments to reduce, discourage and eradicate
- To encourage their governments to develop policies
that ban tobacco advertising and promotion; require prominent and significant
tobacco warnings on all tobacco products; ban smoking in public places and
commercial airline flights, provide public education campaigns against tobacco
use, and encourage tobacco farmers to shift to crop substitution.
Moreover, individual health professionals are called on
- Ban smoking within their premises and at all meetings
and conferences of the national associations \
- Promote smoke free hospitals and other health facilities.
- Develop programs to educate the health professions
and the public regarding the health hazards of tobacco use.
- Encourage health professionals to be living examples
of a tobacco-free lifestyle, and to be champions for this cause.
- Lobby for increased taxation on tobacco products and
to use the revenue for health care.
- Distance themselves and their professional associations
from the tobacco industry
31 May 1999
The World Health Professions Alliance brings
together medicine, nursing and pharmacy through their representative international
organisations, International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Pharmaceutical
Federation (FIP) and the World Medical Association (WMA) and represents
more than 20 million health professionals worldwide.
- The International
Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of 125 national nurses'
associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated
by nurses for nurses since 1899, ICN is the international voice of
nursing and works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies
- The International Pharmaceutical
Federation (FIP) is the worldwide federation of national associations of pharmacists
and pharmaceutical scientists. Pharmacists are health care professionals
dedicated to improving access to and value of appropriate medicine use
- The World Medical Association (WMA) is a global federation of national medical
associations, representing the millions of physicians worldwide. Acting
on behalf of physicians and patients, the WMA endeavours to achieve the highest
possible standards of medical science, education, ethics and health care for
further information contact Linda Carrier-Walker Tel : +41 22 908
fax : +41 22 908 0101; email:
Web site www.icn.ch