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10-11-2002, 11:59 AM
The World Health Organization on Friday urged countries to reach a global deal on curbing tobacco use, warning that hundreds of thousands more were dying each year from smoking than previously thought.
The United Nations agency said it had revised its annual death toll for smoking related diseases to 4.9 million people from 4.2 million in part because of better research into cardiovascular disease in developing countries.

"This means our estimate for 10 million deaths a year by 2030 is also probably an underestimate," said Derek Yach, head of non-communicable diseases at WHO.

Based on current trends, tobacco could soon become the leading cause of premature death worldwide, killing more than HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality, car accidents, homicide and suicide combined, health activists say.

The WHO's 192 member states gather in Geneva on Tuesday for 10 days of further negotiations on a treaty -- the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) -- to wean the world off smoking.

Some states already have strict laws, including limits on age and where people can smoke as well as restrictions on the activities of tobacco companies, but many developing countries have virtually no legislation.

The proposed pact, the first global attempt to kick the habit, has been under discussion for four years and is supposed to be agreed by the next WHO annual meeting set for May 2003.

"This is a critical moment for the negotiations. The technical work is now complete. The time has come for all countries to show their determination about curbing the tobacco epidemic," said WHO director-general Gro Harlem Brundtland.

States will have before them a draft text, drawn up by chief negotiator ambassador Luiz Felipe de Seixas Correa of Brazil, that seeks to tackle the key issues of advertising, promotion and sales, and cigarette smuggling.

The plan calls for states to draw up laws and regulations for "preventing and reducing tobacco consumption, nicotine addiction and exposure to tobacco smoke," including passive smoking.

On compensation for smokers suffering illness, an issue highlighted by last week's record U.S. award of $28 billion in damages for a 64-year-old with lung cancer, it asks countries to share information and research results.

The text also urges the gradual elimination of advertising and the suppression of terms such as "mild" or "low tar" which the WHO considers to be misleading because they give the impression that these cigarettes are less dangerous.

But the draft has been attacked by activists for not being tough enough on advertising and marketing through which the big tobacco companies entice young people into smoking.

They accuse the United States, Japan and Germany, in particular, which are home to large tobacco concerns, of working against outright bans on publicity.

WHO officials say that stopping the young starting is the best way to cut the smoking death rate. But in some developing countries more than 60 percent of 13-15 year olds use tobacco.

10/11/02 12:25 ET

10-11-2002, 12:17 PM
Darnnit! i thought it was about Pool.........and fresh off the press, this just in from the fall coloured hills of Nova Scotia Canada. " knock, knock.....How's there?...Tobbacco Kills News. Tobbacco kills News who? Tobbacco Kills News everywhere so i wish they could just post it somewhere, be done with it, and Fu%# right off. Rackem! St

nAz
10-11-2002, 05:55 PM
Who cares about smokers dying early here or any where else in the world. the planet is getting over populated anyways, Tabco = $$ and Population Control