World No Tobacco Day 2017: Tobacco – a threat to development

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2017 is “Tobacco – a threat to development.”  

More than 7 million deaths from tobacco use every year, a figure that is predicted to grow to more than 8 million a year by 2030 without intensified action. Tobacco use is a threat to any person, regardless of gender, age, race, cultural or educational background. It brings suffering, disease, and death, impoverishing families and national economies.

Tobacco use costs national economies enormously through increased health-care costs and decreased productivity. It worsens health inequalities and exacerbates poverty, as the poorest people spend less on essentials such as food, education and health care. Some 80% of premature deaths from tobacco occur in low- or middle-income countries, which face increased challenges to achieving their development goals.

Tobacco threatens us all.

Message of the regional director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, on the occasion of world no tobacco day, 31 May 2017


Winners of the 2017 World No Tobacco Day Awards in the African Region

Every year, the World Health Organization recognizes individuals or organizations from its six regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. The World No-Tobacco Day 2017 Award Winners from the African Region are:

WHO Director-General Special award

  • Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Republic of the Gambia

African Region awardees

  • Tigray Regional Health Bureau, Tigray National Regional State, Federal Democractic Republic of Ethiopia
  • Mrs Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng, Republic of Ghana
  • Dr Ravelojoeliandriambeloaritafika Aurélien, Directeur de l’Office National de Lutte Antitabac, Republic of Madagascar
  • National Assembly of the Republic of the Gambia
  • Dr Elel Boulou Epse Ndembiyembe Flore, Republic of Cameroon

These six award winners will be recognized for their outstanding contribution to tobacco control in their respective countries.