Tobacco use causes more than 7 million deaths per year worldwide. If the pattern of smoking all over the globe does not change, more than 8 million people a year will die from diseases related to tobacco use by 2030.
Bosnia and Herzegovina committed to adopt and implement legislation for preventing and reducing tobacco consumption when the country signed the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework convention on tobacco control (FCTC) in 2009. Despite this international obligation, BiH has not yet harmonized its laws with the Convention.
Almost 40% of BiH population are active smokers. Tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke cause severe health effects, but also have economic, environmental and social consequences. This matter of public health is particularly relevant now, in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we all need to be aware that tobacco represents a serious threat to the health of thousands of BiH citizens.
We call on BiH authorities to urgently adopt new legislation in the area of tobacco control and to fulfil the long pending EU recommendation, which is to “adopt legislation at all levels prohibiting smoking in public places in line with the EU acquis and ratify the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco, and start to enforce both measures”.