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A billion deaths from tobacco are a key obstacle to global development
Date:3/4/2013

If the word's nations are going to prevent tobacco smoking from causing one projected billion deaths by the end of this century, they must: Make tobacco control part of the agendas of United Nation's and other development agencies worldwide; Assure every sector of a nation including health, trade and finance officials work collectively to protect not only health but the harm tobacco places on their economy by passing laws to reduce use; Place health as the centerpiece of any decision on a trade treaty that includes tobacco; Diligently work toward a goal of reducing the prevalence rate of smoking to less than five percent world-wide by 2048, basically ending its use.

Those were among the key recommendations to come out of an international gathering last week at Harvard University of public health officials, academics, and public health advocates from more 40 nations, and such international organizations as the European Union, the African Union, the World Trade Union, and the World Health Organization.

"The only entity in the world to benefit if tobacco use is passed down to the next generation of poor children of the world will be the tobacco industry," warned Gregory Connolly, chair of the meeting and director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Harvard School of Public Health. "All other industries producing good products and services will suffer, not benefit, and the same is true for the economies of poor nations and their citizens," if smoking is not snuffed out. This meeting was an historic step to make global smoking history," said who two decades ago crafted Massachusetts's tobacco control efforts.

And Dr. Douglas Webb of United Nations Development Program warned that "tobacco use poses a major health and human development threat. Avoidable and unnecessary, tobacco-linked illnesses strike people in their prime, hit the poorest hardest, inhibit country productivity, burden already
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Contact: B. D. Colen
bd_colen@harvard.edu
617-495-7821
Harvard University
Source:Eurekalert

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