The World Health Organisation and anti-smoking activists have unveiled a "death clock" tracking how many people will die from tobacco use to mark a new campaign against the illicit tobacco trade.
The "death clock," which shows the number of tobacco-related deaths
since the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
negotiations began in October 1999, stood at just under the 40 million
mark at the unveiling.
The WHO said it expects tobacco to kill more than 5 million people
this year - greater than the combined death toll from tuberculosis,
Aids and malaria.
Graphic pictures working
"This 'epidemic' is hitting the poorest of the poor," said Douglas
Bettcher, director of the WHO's Tobacco-Free Initiative. But he added that "we do see some green shoots in some countries" taking action to curb tobacco use, such as the use of graphic pictures showing damaged lungs and other health consequences on cigarette
Six hundred delegates from over 150 countries are meeting in Geneva
this week to negotiate an FCTC protocol against the illegal trade in
The WHO said this trade is linked to organised crime and even
terrorism, and it estimates that 50 billion dollars is lost in tax
revenues to governments every year. – (Sapa, October 2008)
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