TOBACCO will kill nearly six million people this year, including 600,000 non-smokers, because governments are not doing enough to persuade people to quit or protect others from second-hand smoke, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Since there is often a lag of many years between when people start smoking and when it affects health, the epidemic of tobacco-related disease and death would have begun. And by 2030, the annual death toll could reach 8 million!
The WHO urged more governments to sign up and implement its tobacco control treaty, warning that if current trends persist, tobacco could cause up to a billion deaths in the 21st Century, a dramatic rise from the 100 million deaths it caused in the previous century.
So far, 172 countries and the European Union have signed up the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which came into force in 2005 and obliges them to take steps over time to cut smoking rates, limit exposure to second-hand smoke, and curb tobacco advertising and promotion. The WHO says smoking is one of the biggest contributors to a worldwide epidemic of non-communicable, or chronic, diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, cancer and emphysema, which accounts for 63 per cent of all deaths worldwide, nearly 80 per cent of which occur in poorer countries.
Getting help to stub it out
THOUSANDS of smokers who are trying desperately, but unsuccessfully, to quit smoking, can now turn to a new website to help them kick the habit.
Pfizer recently introduced the first socially-engaged smoking cessation website in Malaysia, www.champscircle.com, aimed at helping those who want to quit smoking. Launched in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day last month, the website takes a fresh approach to smoking cessation. The content and applications on the website are designed to help, rather than scare, people to quit.
Champscircle.com is predominantly for those who have a strong desire to quit smoking but who face...
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