Making the world safe from tobacco
Reported yesterday by Ania Lichtarowicz, BBC News health reporter:
"The world's first global health treaty -- the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control -- has come into force.Meanwhile, millions of people continue to die needlessly at the hands of the State, through war, regulation, genocide...
"The anti-smoking pact has been signed by 168 countries, and ratified by 57 of them, which will now have to tighten their anti-tobacco laws.
"The treaty demands health warnings on cigarette packets and bans on tobacco advertising within five years.
"Every year five million people die from smoking-related diseases -- a number set to double by 2020 if nothing is done.
"So the World Health Organization has designed the FCTC to force countries to implement stricter tobacco legislation.
"Dr. Douglas Bettcher, the co-ordinator of the FCTC Unit, explained why the world needed binding international law on tobacco:
" 'The world community was faced and appalled by the mushrooming number of needless deaths due to tobacco-related diseases.' "