Developing Countries to Get Smoking Research Boost
GENEVA (Reuters) - The US National Institutes for Health and the World Health Organization will give $17 million for research on the effects of tobacco in developing countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
The US agency and WHO, co-sponsors of a tobacco health research program, will spend the money over the next five years, supporting research on tobacco consumption and related health risks in low- and middle-income countries.
The WHO estimates that by 2020, 70% of tobacco-related deaths will occur in such countries, where tobacco firms are big investors and bring in much-needed tax revenue for governments, but cigarette packets carry no health warnings.
``Developing countries need to act now if they are to save lives. The most effective policies are those backed by the right research and data,'' said Derek Yach, executive director of noncommunicable diseases and mental health at WHO.
On Wednesday, cancer experts in Britain said the implementation of measures such as advertising bans and educational campaigns aimed at reducing the number of poor people in developing countries who smoke was the most pressing issue in the fight against cancer.
Anti-smoking campaigners say that tobacco firms are targeting smokers in developing nations because they face lawsuits and advertising bans in many parts of the developed world.