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Tobacco firms 'hamper anti-smoking push'

From BBC - July 19, 2017

The tobacco industry is hampering efforts to introduce life-saving interventions in low and middle income countries, according to a report by the World Health Organization.

Countries covering two thirds of the world's population now have measures in place to encourage people to stop smoking.

But tobacco still kills more than 7 million people every year.

Tobacco companies say they are not opposed to "reasonable" regulation.

The proportion of smokers and those using other tobacco products around the world is falling - but it is happening slowly.

One in five people over the age of 15 now use tobacco, compared to one in four in 2007, according to the WHO report on the "global tobacco epidemic".

Dozens of countries have introduced measures to discourage people from smoking over the the past decade, such as introducing higher taxes for products, advertising bans and smoke free zones.

Fighting tobacco use:

Nepal: Introduced the world's largest health warnings on tobacco packaging in 2015, covering 90% of packets.

India: Launched a nationwide tobacco cessation programme and toll-free quit line in 2016.

The Philippines: Introduced a "Sin Tax Reform Law" which increased tax on tobacco significantly over time, earning an extra $5,2bn for other public services, including healthcare.

"There has been progress, but there's more to do," said Dr Vinayak Prasad, head of WHO's tobacco control unit in Geneva.

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