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Landmark WHO Report on Global Tobacco Epidemic Should Spur Urgent Action by Nations to Implement Proven Solutions
Date:2/7/2008

Statement of Matthew L. Myers President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The World Health Organization (WHO) today released a landmark report that makes clear both the devastating scope of the global tobacco epidemic - it is the leading cause of preventable death in the world today - and the fact that it is entirely preventable if nations urgently implement proven solutions. This report presents the first comprehensive picture of what the world's nations are doing to address this public health crisis, and it demonstrates starkly that most nations are not doing nearly enough. While some countries have shown exemplary leadership, overall only around five percent of the world's population is covered by any one of the key interventions recommended by the WHO.

The world is truly at a crossroads in this battle. With Philip Morris International and other multinational tobacco companies aggressively introducing new products and increasingly targeting the developing world, it is urgent that nations act now to implement the proven solutions identified in this report. If they do so, they can save hundreds of millions of lives. If nations fail to act, the world will pay a terrible price.

The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008, finds that tobacco use already kills 5.4 million people a year and the epidemic is worsening, especially in the developing world where more than 80 percent of tobacco-caused deaths will occur in the coming decades. Unless urgent action is taken, one billion people will die worldwide from tobacco use this century. Tobacco use is so devastating to the human body that it is a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of death in the world.

The good news is that this epidemic is far from inevitable, and we know how to stop it. Based on science and experience, the WHO has identified six cost-effective solutions that have been proven to reduce tobacco use
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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