American Academy of Pediatrics Urges FCTC Implementation as "World No Tobacco Day" Draws Near

The AAP urges ratification of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to protect children globally from secondhand smoke.

When 600,000 people worldwide die from diseases caused by exposure to secondhand smoke every year, you know there is a very large problem deserving of attention.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) certainly feels that way, and it’s not hard to see why: if 600,000 people worldwide die from secondhand smoke exposure, how many of them are children?

Approximately 700 million children worldwide are exposed to tobacco smoke each year; 40% of them are estimated to be exposed to secondhand smoke in their own homes. Tobacco exposure in children correlates directly to ear infections, respiratory infections, more recurrent and severe asthma attacks, and an increased threat of death by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

With “World No Tobacco Day” drawing near (May 31), the APP is urging the United States to officially ratify the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in order to protect children globally from tobacco and secondhand smoke exposure.

As the first international public health agreement through the WHO, the FCTC is meant to supply an all-inclusive approach in an effort to diminish the substantial health and economic burden tobacco causes worldwide.

"As pediatricians we strive to improve the health of all of our patients and families," said O. president of the AAP, Marion Burton. "Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disability across the world. It is important for the pediatric community to unite on a global level to eliminate tobacco and secondhand smoke exposure from the lives of all children."

It is reported that the Academy's Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence will be addressing pediatric issues in tobacco control in all countries. He will also be supplying pediatric voices to tobacco control policy discussions and helping pediatric associations aid their members in becoming both clinical and policy advocates.