Health experts call for tobacco-free world by 2040
Leading experts in health and policy have called on the United Nations to work aggressively toward shaping a tobacco-free world--one in which 5 percent or less of the planet's inhabitants use it. Their report calling for this to happen by 2040 was published in a new series in The Lancet.
The authors of the report argue that the damage caused by tobacco is unacceptable, and contend that one billion tobacco-related deaths could occur around the world by the end of the century if nothing is done. They added that up to 80 percent of these deaths will occur in countries dominated by low or middle income families.
Research suggests that only 15 percent of the world's population has easy access to anti-smoking programs, and although overall smoking rates are declining, tobacco use is expected to increase in some countries in the next 10 years.
The health experts also called for evidence-based actions against the four international tobacco companies that dominate the tobacco market and the Chinese National Tobacco Company that have increasingly targeted low and mid-income countries such as Africa and Asia. China is said to have the highest number of smokers of any country in the world--an estimated 300 million--and the highest smoking rates among young men.