Taxes key in war on 'lifestyle' disease: health experts

AFP/File / by Marlowe HOOD | Tobacco claims nearly seven million lives yearly from cancer and other lung diseases, accounting for about one-in-10 deaths worldwide, and a million in China alone


 Global health leaders declared war on lifestyle diseases Thursday, decrying the impact of tobacco, alcohol and soft drinks on the world's poor, while calling for taxes to curb consumption and finance healthcare.

In half-a-dozen studies in The Lancet, a leading health journal, experts detailed the link between poverty and non-communicable diseases (NDCs) such as stroke and diabetes, and made the case for consumer taxes opposed by industry and many politicians.

NDCs, which also include heart disease and cancer, "are a major cause and consequence of poverty worldwide," said Rachel Nugent, vice-president of RTI International, a non-profit health policy institute in Seattle, and chair of The Lancet Taskforce on Non-Communicable Diseases (NDCs).

 Many of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, which run to 2030, will remain out of reach unless governments invest in policies that break the chains binding unhealthy habits and so-called "lifestyle" diseases, she said.

"Every year, almost 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty because of out-of-pocket health spending," Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, wrote in a comment, also in The Lancet.....Read more


Source web page:France

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