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Rise of Global Deaths and Chronic Diseases Leads to Summit on Protecting Global Employee Health
Date:8/7/2008

American Cancer Society Convenes Global Companies, Health Care Professionals, Harvard School of Public Health and World Economic Forum to

Develop New Global Smoke-free and Wellness Programs

BOSTON, Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time, leaders of major multinational companies with U.S. and Boston-based headquarters, including General Motors and Caterpillar, are gathering for an American Cancer Society summit to address the growing demand to protect the health of global employees through smoke-free and wellness programs. Chronic diseases have overtaken infectious diseases as the leading causes of death, and cancer is expected to become the world's leading cause of death in 2010.

During this summit, 26 representatives from leading multinational companies are learning how proven programs in the U.S. can be culturally adapted and applied worldwide to protect employee health and increase productivity. U.S.-based human resource and medical professionals are hearing challenges about employee sickness and lost workdays from their counterparts in countries such as China, Latin America, and India. The American Cancer Society has begun piloting smoke-free and wellness programs in India and China to promote smoking cessation, smoke-free workplaces, physical activity, and better nutrition.

"During this unique and unprecedented collaboration of business and public health leaders, we have witnessed a significant level of interest and a commitment by corporations to proactively lead the charge to help curb deaths and illness from chronic diseases," said Elmer E. Huerta, M.D., M.P.H., president of the American Cancer Society. "Tobacco usage increases the risk of at least 15 types of cancer, and there is no safe way to smoke, nor is there any safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. One-third of all cancers can be prevented through lifestyle behaviors such as tobacco cessation, better nutrition and physical activity."

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SOURCE American Cancer Society
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