UN Says "Tobacco Epidemic" Could Kill 1 Billion People In 21st Century

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The World Health Organization says tobacco is responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century and is on pace to kill 1 billion people in the 21st unless governments intervene.

A WHO report says governments collect more than $200 billion in tobacco taxes every year, but spend less than one-fifth of 1 percent on tobacco control. The agency is urging governments to raise tobacco taxes and prices, ban advertising and help those who are addicted.

The report examines the tobacco policies of 179 countries. It forecasts more than 80 percent of tobacco-related deaths will be in low and middle income countries by 2030.

The report says China and India account for nearly 40 percent of
the world's smokers.

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