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Tobacco killing hundreds of millions 

Jump to full article: Health-E, 2010-08-19


Over 3 000 international cancer experts are currently meeting in China to renew their fight against a disease which is killing millions every year and to renew their efforts to control tobacco.

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world and according to the World Health Organisation if current trends continue tobacco use will cause one billion deaths worldwide during this century. China will be one of the most adversely affected regions.

Yesterday (THURSDAY) the American Cancer Society (ACS) and World Lung Foundation released the Chinese language version of the Tobacco Atlas revealing that the government-owned Chinese National Tobacco Corporation and its sales account for one-third of the global market. . . .

Professor Judith Mackay, the lead author of the Tobacco Atlas said the publication had "an awful lot of bad news" in it, including the fact that in spite of between 50 and 60 years of action and knowledge there was still massive prevalence. The good news was that there were now many more systems in place to control tobacco.

Mackay said that Asia was tackling the tobacco issue with countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan showing the way. In Japan smoking prevalence among men has come down from 80% in 1985 to 40%.

On the other side of the world in Africa, which is notably affected by HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases, cancer is emerging as a serious public health threat.

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