According to a new report by the World Health Organization, tobacco use kills at least 5 million people every year and the figure could rise if countries around the world don’t take stronger measures to combat smoking.
The report also showed that nearly 95 percent of the global population is unprotected by laws banning smoking. As a result, the amount of deaths from second hand smoke kills about 600,000 people every year.
The report describes countries’ various strategies to curb smoking, including protecting people from smoke, enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, and raising taxes on tobacco products, but less than 10 percent of the world’s population is covered by any single measure.
"People need more than to be told that tobacco is bad for human health," said Douglas Bettcher, director of WHO’s Tobacco-Free Initiative." Basham said measures like increasing taxes on tobacco products and banning advertising don’t address the root causes of why people smoke. Smoking levels naturally drop off as they have in Western countries when populations become richer and better-educated.”
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide and some say if more preventative measures aren’t taken the numbers could increase to 8 million worldwide.
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