At the ceremony, conference president Prakash C. Gupta addressed the gathering of 2,500 delegates from over 130 countries and expressed his pleasure and gratitude at their presence.
The World Conference on Tobacco or Health is widely recognised as an important forum for international collaboration on tobacco control and as a stimulus for national efforts in this field.
The conference pointed out that all tobacco products created an economic burden, especially in low-income countries, hence the global tobacco control community needed to increase efforts to combat this. One of the strongest recommendations that the conference made was that at least 80 per cent countries should raise tobacco taxes to over 60 per cent of the retail price by 2012. The implementation of pictorial warnings and stopping of ‘tobacco money’ as sponsorship or in any other form were also recommended.
The tobacco industry obstructed effective anti-smoking measures and promoted tobacco products through all possible means, including the entertainment industry, which should be curbed effectively and urgently, according to a declaration at the ceremony.
“It was from the west coast of India that tobacco came, and there is no better place than Mumbai for it to exit India,” said K. Shreenath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India and winner of Luther L. Terry award. “The solidarity shown by the foreign delegates is heart-warming, it is proves that people who fight against tobacco are not scared of terror,” he added.