Author Topic: World Health Organization Warns -Stronger Tobacco-control Measures Vital  (Read 213 times)

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The World Health Organization warns that more than 7 million people die prematurely every year from tobacco-related causes, and it's a costly drain on national economies.

In advance of World No Tobacco day, to be observed Wednesday, the global health agency urged governments to implement strong tobacco control measures for the health of their people and their economies.

WHO calls tobacco a threat to development. Besides the heavy toll in lives lost, global estimates show that "tobacco costs the global economy $1.4 trillion a year," or 1.8 percent of global gross domestic product. The WHO notes this estimate takes into consideration "only medical expenses and lost productive capacities."

Despite effective tobacco control measures, WHO reports the number of people dying from smoking is increasing because those dying today have mostly been long-term smokers and it takes time for tobacco control policies to make an impact.

Vinayak Prasad, program manager of the WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative, told VOA, "What we are seeing is that if the policies were not in place, the number of 7.2 million would have been higher. We are seeing a reduction of tobacco use prevalence in most countries. The only regions now which are seeing higher growth are the African continent and Middle Eastern region. The rest of the world is seeing a decline."



 

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