ENVIRONMEN­TAL HAVOC

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countries to ban smoking in the workplace and indoor public spaces, outlaw marketing of tobacco products and hike cigarette prices.

“Tobacco threatens us all,” WHO chief Margaret Chan said in a statement. “Tobacco exacerbate­s poverty, reduces economic productivi­ty, contribute­s to poor household food choices and pollutes indoor air,” she said.

In a report released ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Wednesday, WHO warned that the annual death toll of 7 million people had jumped from 4 million at the turn of the century, making tobacco the world’s single biggest cause of preventabl­e death.

Tobacco use also brings an economic cost

WHO estimates that it drains more than $1.4 trillion from households and government­s each year in healthcare expenditur­es and lost productivi­ty, or nearly 2 percent of the global gross domestic product. In addition to the health and economic costs linked to smoking, the report for the first time delved into the environmen­tal impact of everything from tobacco production to the cigarette butts and other waste produced by smokers.

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