The Director’s Corner

The Director’s Corner

A message from José Luis Castro on World Lung Cancer Day, 1 August

Today, on World Lung Cancer Day, we honour and support those among us and across the globe who have been affected by lung cancer, one of the most common cancers worldwide. Lung cancer is a global problem, affecting people in all parts of the world, with smoking being by far the leading cause of the disease.

Unlike many other cancers, rates of lung cancer incidence can be largely curtailed through using proven tobacco control interventions, such as raising the price of tobacco products, increasing the size of graphic health warnings on cigarette packs, banning smoking in public places and comprehensively banning all kinds of tobacco’s direct and indirect promotion and advertisements including those at points of sale while continuing to provide support to current smokers for quitting.

Last month, Uruguay defeated Philip Morris in its six-year battle on tobacco trademarks and packaging – a country whose GDP pales in comparison to the annual revenue of the tobacco conglomerate. The outcome of the David and Goliath case marks a huge milestone in the global fight against tobacco, and sets the stage to empower other nations to follow suit.

We stand with the world cancer communities and public health organisations across the globe to educate our citizens about the dangers of tobacco usage and to one day eradicate the disease completely. Until our grandparents, children, grandchildren, friends and neighbours each know about the risks and prevention of tobacco use, we will not rest.


José Luis Castro
Executive Director
The Union

The Union 47th World Conference on Lung Health will be held 26-29 October in Liverpool