According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills nearly 6 million people per year. This includes more than 600, 000 nonsmokers who will die from exposure to tobacco smoke. Unchecked, the tobacco epidemic will kill more than eight million a year by 2030. Tobacco use causes and contributes to cancer, heart disease, asthma and other illnesses – it is a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of deaths in the world.
The O’Neill Institute is a leader in the effort to reduce global tobacco use. Our work is comprised of three main strategies. First, the O’Neill Institute researches the use of litigation as an approach for reducing tobacco use; litigation is an important tool in forcing industry to comply with domestic and international law as well as encouraging governments to adopt stronger tobacco control laws. Second, in partnership with domestic and international organizations, the O’Neill Institute supports the drafting of shadow reports to accompany States’ Periodic Reports to human rights monitoring bodies. Third, the O’Neill Institute works with advocates in low-and middle-income countries to target rights-based and constitutional arguments to their specific cultural, economic, and political environments.
The views reflected in this expert column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.