WHO Wraps Up Anti-Tobacco Talks
Health experts from more than 100 countries wrapped up preliminary talks on an anti-tobacco treaty Friday, saying they were on course toward a plan to cut smoking and stem a rising death toll.
The weeklong meeting sponsored by the World Health Organization ended with consensus that a future treaty should ban or restrict tobacco advertising and promotion, tackle smuggling, and use pricing and taxation to deter consumers, delegates said.
Government representatives -- including from big tobacco-growing nations -- also indicated they might be willing to try to cut supply, said Margaret Chan, a Chinese expert who co-chaired the meeting.
WHO estimates that smoking kills 4 million people a year, and that the toll may rise to 10 million a year by 2030 because of the increase in tobacco use in developing countries like China. That would exceed the total death total from malaria, major childhood diseases and tuberculosis combined. The agency also estimates that between 82,000 and 99,000 young people around the world start smoking each day.