, Volume 23, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 7-9
Date: 26 Feb 2012

Reducing global health inequities through tobacco control

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The World Health Organization’s (WHO) constitution states that enjoyment of the “highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being…”. There is ample evidence that not everyone enjoys the highest standards and that there are inequities in health worldwide. Income, gender, race, ethnicity, and social status may affect whether an individual is born and grows up healthy, or has access to good health care [1]. Whether described in terms of health equity, healthcare inequality, health disparities, or social justice, we know that, in the simplest and most stark terms, vast numbers of children, women, and men across the globe do not enjoy the basic human right of good health care.

There have been considerable scientific, medical, and policy analyses of the causes of these inequities and their potential solutions. Because, however, many of these causes, and solutions, are society-wide issues, e.g., poverty and its reduction, healthcare system barriers an