Tobacco Control: What Ministries of Agriculture Need to Know

Tobacco Control: What Ministries of Agriculture Need to Know

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Tobacco Control: What Ministries of Agriculture Need to Know

February 5, 2024

Tobacco kills 8.7 million people every year, including up to half its users in addition to non-users exposed to deadly second-hand smoke. The burden of tobacco reaches far beyond health, weakening the economy, disrupting social systems and damaging the environment. Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) bear a greater portion of the global burden, with over 80% of tobacco users living in LMICs. 

Without adequate investment in tobacco control it is estimated that up to 1 billion people could die from tobacco-related diseases during this century alone.

Urgent and whole-of government action is needed to tackle the tobacco burden, calling for a response from all government sectors. This brief is part of a set of 13 provided by UNDP that map out roles and first steps different parts of government can take to help achieve the SDGs by reducing tobacco use.

Ministries of agriculture can take key steps to advance tobacco control and accelerate progress towards the SDGs. This includes ensuring the participation of the ministry in tobacco control multisectoral action plans and coordinating mechanisms, eliminating tobacco farming subsidies and other investment incentives for the tobacco sector, working with other parts of government to protect against tobacco industry interference, and promoting policy coherence. Ministries of agriculture also stand to benefit from tobacco control – transitioning tobacco farmers to sustainable alternatives can increase food security while minimizing environmental costs such as soil degradation, deforestation, biodiversity loss and water pollution.