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Ending Tobacco Use Presents Global Health Challenge

Inter Press Service: Curbing Tobacco Use – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
“The numbers are in, and there’s not much to celebrate: every year, about six million people die as a result of tobacco use, including 600,000 who succumb to the effects of second-hand smoke. … One of the [WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s] goals is to achieve a 30-percent reduction in tobacco use among people aged 15 years and older by 2025. By some calculations, the international community is moving slowly but surely towards this target. … [But] a closer look at the data shows that at current levels of progress, only 37 countries worldwide, or just 21 percent of all member states, stand ready to meet the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020. In fact, according to the WHO, there will be between 1.5 and 1.9 billion smokers worldwide in 2025, representing a potential health crisis of severe proportions…” (Mendoza, 4/2).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.