WHO Pushes Governments to Battle Smoking

Developing countries most at risk, can least afford measures
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 7, 2008 4:40 PM CST
The flag of the World Health Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations who's latest mission is to combat tobacco related deaths worldwide.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – Aiming to slash the 5.4 million tobacco-related deaths worldwide per year, the World Health Organization today called on governments everywhere to discourage smoking, the Wall Street Journal reports. As it stands, only 5% of countries have programs working to curb the habit, such as advertising bans and warning labels. A WHO report offers a six-point strategy to battle the tobacco beast.

Poorer countries pose a particular challenge: While more than half the world’s smokers come from 15 such nations, their governments lack resources to fix the problem. But, says a WHO anti-tobacco leader, “This is a moment of opportunity. Data, partnerships, political consensus around tobacco control are all coming together to make this the right time” to step up the fight.