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1 Billion People to Be Killed by Smoking

could halve by 2050.

It's a completely preventable epidemic," Bettcher said, citing countries such as Singapore, Australia and Thailand where tough anti-smoking laws have helped people to quit.

Officials from 147 countries are attending the week-long conference, which is likely to agree on binding laws against cross-border tobacco advertising -- a move against events such as Formula One -- as well as tougher legislation against cigarette smuggling.

In Thailand, smoking rates have fallen from 30 percent in 1992 to around 18 percent, a decline health officials attribute to a ban on all domestic tobacco advertising 15 years ago.

"The most important medicines in tobacco control are: number one, increasing taxation; number two, bans on advertising; and number three, smoke-free public places," said Hatai Chitanondh of the Thailand Health Promotion Institute.

Besides agreeing laws on cross-border advertising and smuggling, the conference is also likely to issue guidelines for countries introducing legislation on "second-hand smoke" and "smoke-free" areas.

The new Cancer Atlas and updated Tobacco Atlas were released Monday at an International Union Against Cancer conference. The American Cancer Society published the two atlases with help from the Union, WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There is an estimated 1.25 billion men and women smoke cigarettes now, according to the Tobacco Atlas.


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