Nowadays, talking about tobacco, is not just referring to a consumer product, or considering it as the main problem facing health systems around the world.

Tobacco, throughout its history, has caused injustice, inequality and innumerable conflicts, therefore it is a violent product that generates direct (killing slowly), structural (injustices) and cultural (validations, manipulations, double talk and looking the other away) violence, which moves  away from the real, ethical and etiological solutions, using palliative medicine instead of curative medicine by not proceeding towards etiological treatment.

Therefore, tobacco not only endangers the health of all citizens throughout the world, but also globally affects their well-being, their quality of life and their rights, and also seriously threatens the economy, the environment and the sustainable development of the planet.

Nevertheless, despite the serious threat posed by its consumption, there is no social alarm that can be compared to the seriousness of its consequences, which is why at this moment the need to reconceptualize the concept of “tobacco” is important, not only by addressing its impact on health, but also by becoming aware, preventing and combating the roots of its violence.

In our collective unconscious, wars are always related with images of maximum destruction and violence, however, an adequate analysis of the situation, would show how the externalities generated by tobacco are not, under any circumstances, less cruel or devastating than those generated by wars.

Therefore, in the same way that we reject the direct violence caused by wars and contend that all humanity is unanimously repulsed by war and violence, we cannot continue to accept the violence caused by tobacco through a fractional analysis of the situation, which only regulates some consequences but which does not analyze the true origin of the problem: the unethical economy of the tobacco industry.

Tobacco is an unjust product and the conflicts it produces need a transformation from  philosophy for peace, applied ethics of responsibilities, and through dialogue, respect, recognition and reconciliation, as tools that strengthen the control measures that have been shown to be effective.

Civil society is called to play a decisive role in the transformation of the conflicts generated by tobacco and in the process of rebuilding the capacities of all human beings.

In the XXII century, to continue accepting an unethical company that does not provide any type of social virtue, such as the tobacco industry, is a serious error and an exercise of collective irresponsibility.

With our best wishes for a future without tobacco for everyone.


Azahar Association