Coun­tries vow to take on to­bacco com­pa­nies

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A global con­fer­ence on to­bacco con­trol has pledged to hold the to­bacco in­dus­try legally li­able for health con­se­quences of smok­ing and pro­tect pub­lic health poli­cies from the in­flu­ence of to­bacco com­pa­nies. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 180 coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing in the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s ( WHO) global to­bacco con­trol treaty ne­go­ti­a­tions on Satur­day adopted a dec­la­ra­tion in which they also vowed to pro­hibit or reg­u­late the sale of e-cig­a­rettes. The six-day con­fer­ence on the Frame­work Con­ven­tion on To­bacco Con­trol (FCTC) con­cluded with par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries agree­ing to pro­mote al­ter­na­tive liveli­hoods for to­bacco farm­ers that would en­sure a bet­ter fu­ture for them. Pub­lic health ac­tivists say smok­ingre­lated deaths are still ris­ing world­wide, with 80 per cent of them ex­pected to oc­cur in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries by 2030. The WHO said that with­out strong con­trol mea­sures, to­bacco will kill about one bil­lion peo­ple in the 21st cen­tury. The dec­la­ra­tion cau­tioned gov­ern­ments against ef­forts by big to­bacco com­pa­nies to di­lute health poli­cies.

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