Countries vow to take on tobacco companies
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.