Tobacco kills over five million every year, says UN

May 31st, 2009 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, May 31 (IANS) Some 5.4 million people die every year from tobacco-related illnesses, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday, and urged governments to address “this needless threat to public health”.
In his message on the “World No Tobacco Day”, he said that 80 percent of the deaths occurred in the low and middle-income countries, IRNA reported. May 31 was observed as “World No Tobacco Day”.

Almost half of all smokers die from tobacco-related diseases, and science has shown smoke harms everyone who is exposed to it.

If left unchecked, tobacco-related deaths would rise to more than eight million by 2030, the UN Information Centre said in a statement, citing the UN chief.

“Lung cancer, heart disease and other tobacco-related illnesses are part of a broader epidemic of non-communicable diseases, which include strokes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. These diseases have become the world’s leading cause of mortality,” the statement added.

“I urge governments everywhere to address this needless threat to public health,” Ban said.

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