Say No to Smoking: Human Rights and Tobacco Share a Delicate Link

human rights and tobacco

human rights and tobacco

Human rights are very significant for every individual living in this world. Human rights are given to every human being, irrespective of race, gender, caste, language, and religion. Human rights comprise various rights, which include the right to work and education, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of speech and expression, and the right to life and liberty, among others. When we talk about human rights, we also include various things that can cause harm to humans and their rights. Things include climate change, but one of the major issues that concerns human rights is injurious habits that can cause harmful diseases, including drinking alcohol, drug consumption, and smoking. Smoking is injurious to health and can cause chronic diseases like cancer, high blood pressure, heart stroke, and mental health issues. Today, we will discuss the link between human rights and tobacco.

What is tobacco, and how can it cause harm?

Tobacco is a type of plant whose leaves are consumed by chewing, smoking, or sniffing for a variety of effects. Tobacco comprises a chemical called nicotine, which acts as an addictive substance. The smoke from tobacco contains more than 7,000 chemicals, of which 70 can lead to cancer. Consumption of alcohol can cause many chronic diseases, like heart-related problems, mental health issues, cancer, lung problems, heart attack, lung cancer, and blood vessel problems.

Link Between Tobacco and Human Rights

International organisations are now considering linking public health measures, such as tobacco control measures, to human rights. The human right to health is increasingly encouraged as a component of tobacco control policies and provides opportunities for law and public health programmes to promote healthy behaviours and environments.

The World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Controlling Tobacco is a treaty of the United Nations that ensures that its obligations align with the human rights of every individual in this world.

Awareness is spreading among individuals all around the world regarding the harms related to the consumption of tobacco. Various measures are being taken to encourage quitting smoking and following healthy food habits for a better quality of life. For this, every year on May 31, no tobacco day is observed to understand the importance of quitting tobacco and measures that can be taken to quit this injurious habit.

 Human rights are considered both at national and international levels. With time, governments have understood the importance of proving human rights to their citizens. Today, human rights are protected by international agreements and laws. Some human rights are ‘non-derogable’ which means these rights cannot be curtailed for anyone. The human right to health is one of the basic human rights that encompasses both individual and public health.

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