Grow food, not tobacco
Tobacco growing harms our health, the health of farmers and the planet’s health.
Over 1 million hectares of land in the Western Pacific Region are being used to grow tobacco – a crop that kills more than 3 million people in the Region each year. The environment suffers greatly due to deforestation, contamination of water sources and degradation of soil.
The 1 million hectares being used to grow tobacco in the Region, could be used to grow about 60 000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables or roughly 243 000 tonnes of rice which is enough to feed millions of people. It’s time to grow food, not tobacco.
World No Tobacco Day 2023, under the theme “Grow food, not tobacco”, is encouraging governments to end tobacco growing subsidies and use the savings to support farmers to switch to more sustainable crops that improve food security and nutrition.
With partners, the global campaign aims to encourage at least 10 000 farmers globally to commit to shifting away from tobacco growing. It will also raise awareness about alternative livelihood for tobacco farmers and encourage them to grow sustainable, nutritious crops. These crops will contribute to efforts addressing food insecurity, help farmers break free of the vicious debt-ridden cycle of tobacco growing, and support a healthier environment overall.