The World Health Organization touted its annual tobacco-free day today as an opportunity to reverse a growing smoking “epidemic.”
A good place to start, U.S. Ambassador Daniel L. Spiegel asserted, is U.N. headquarters in Geneva.
On the eve of World No-Tobacco Day, WHO noted a World Bank study showing tobacco costs the world $200 billion a year - not including the cost of the loss of a breadwinner to a family.
“Tobacco costs more than you think,” it concluded.
“Each year, tobacco is responsible for the deaths of 3 million people around the world, one death every 10 seconds,” said Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, director-general of the U.N. health agency.
At that rate, the death toll will rise to 10 million a year within 40 years, he said and half of today’s smoking teenagers will die by middle age if they don’t quit the habit.