The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling upon governments to stop subsidizing tobacco farming and support more sustainable crops that could feed millions.
This comes as the world marks No Tobacco Day under the theme “We need food, not tobacco”.
The 2023 global campaign aims to raise awareness about alternative crop production and marketing opportunities for tobacco farmers and encourage them to grow sustainable, nutritious crops.
According to the WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom, tobacco is responsible for 8 million deaths a year, yet governments across the world spend millions supporting tobacco farms.
He says by choosing to grow food instead of tobacco, nations can prioritize health, preserve ecosystems, and strengthen food security for all.
More than 300 million people globally are faced with acute food insecurity.
Tobacco farming causes diseases to the farmers themselves and more than 1 million child laborers are estimated to be working on tobacco farms, missing their opportunity for an education.