TOBACCO: WHO Urges Tobacco Control Treaty
The Director General of the World Health Organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland, said at a conference in New Delhi Friday that developing countries must "act swiftly" to control tobacco, or face a "ghastly toll" from tobacco-related deaths, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. Brundtland said that tobacco kills half its users, and could end 10 million lives annually by 2030, with 70% of those deaths occurring in developing nations. She added that tobacco could kill "more people in the next 30 years than the combined toll from malaria, tuberculosis and child diseases" and that it already kills one person every eight seconds. The WHO hopes to garner support for a global treaty on tobacco control. Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who inaugurated the conference, said that the youth of India comprises almost 17% of tobacco addicts and should be "denied access to the substance." But Vajpayee added that any legislation must be joined by the creation of jobs for tobacco industry workers in India, which is the third-largest producer of tobacco. "Tobacco control must be seen to confer the riches of good health, while advancing the health of the economy," Vajpayee said (1/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.