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Every tobacco death is an avoidable tragedy. The epidemic must stop here | Margaret Chan World Health Organisation

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Every tobacco death is an avoidable tragedy. The epidemic must stop here | Margaret Chan World Health Organisation


Every tobacco death is an avoidable tragedy. The epidemic must stop here | Margaret Chan

Posted: 06 Nov 2016 01:00 AM PST

As India prepares to host a key global anti-tobacco conference, the world must seize the chance to end a scourge that claims 6m lives a year

Tobacco use, the leading cause of death from non-communicable diseases such as heart and lung disorders and cancer, claims about 6m lives a year. On Monday, countries will gather in Delhi, India, for the seventh conference of the parties to the World Health Organisation framework convention on tobacco control, a treaty that has sparked global action to stem the epidemic.

The treaty is already one of the most widely embraced in UN history. One of my proudest accomplishments at the helm of the World Health Organisation has been rallying global efforts to drive down tobacco use. I'm pleased to say that, following the adoption of the agreement, governments around the world have taken decisive steps not only to reduce tobacco use, but also to stand up to the multinational tobacco companies standing in the way of global progress.

Related: Big tobacco targets the young in poor countries – with deadly consequences | Anna Gilmore

I urge global leaders convening in India to see this as an opportunity to bend the course of public health history

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