WHO: Smoking Kills 5 Million Every Year

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A new United Nations report on tobacco use found smoking kills nearly 5 million people a year. Researchers say that second hand smoke kills nearly 600,000 people every year.

The World Health Organization is recommending more laws that ban smoking, as nearly 95 percent of the world's population is currently unprotected by such laws.

WHO also suggests issuing bans on tobacco advertising and raising taxes on tobacco products.

"People need more than to be told that tobacco is bad for human health," said Douglas Bettcher, director of WHO's Tobacco-Free Initiative. "They need their governments to implement the WHO Framework Convention."

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an international treaty ratified by 170 countries in 2003, compels nations to take steps to reduce the use of tobacco.

Still, some experts are skeptical of agency's methods.

"The cynical view is that the anti-tobacco lobby has itself now become an industry and we will never be able to do enough to stop smoking," said Patrick Basham, director of the Democracy Institute, a London and Washington-based think tank.

"Tobacco use will change, but it has very little to do with the kinds of things WHO is promoting," Basham said.

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