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.