Developing countries to get extra support for tobacco controls

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A man smokes on the side of the road as a bus passes in Nepal. Photo: World Bank/Aisha Faquir

Developing countries are to receive dedicated support to help limit tobacco use through a project unveiled on Tuesday by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will take the lead in helping low and middle-income countries, or LMICs, to implement policies designed to reduce smoking.

Matthew Wells has more.

If current trends continue, tobacco will kill around one billion people during the course of the 21st Century, and more than 80 per cent of those deaths will be in LMICs.

The European Union together with another 179 countries are party to the WHO convention, which obliges governments to ban advertising and promotion, end smoking indoors at work and in public spaces, and ensure packaging has health warnings.

The new 5 year project, funded initially by the United Kingdom, will enable governments in the developing world to implement the measures from next year.

It's being seen as an important way to drive home the message that sustainable development is not going to be possible if current levels of tobacco consumption continue.

Douglas Webb of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said they "welcomed the opportunity to advance tobacco control through better support to national planning, good governance and protection against tobacco industry interference in policy making."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 58″

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