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Also In Global Health News: China Smoking Ban; Gates Foundation Grants; Global Consumer Taxes; Polio Vaccination In Uzbekistan; Maternal Mortality In Uganda

China Vows To Ban Smoking From Public Places By 2011 “China, the world’s biggest consumer of tobacco, has insisted it will honour a pledge to ban smoking in public places by 2011 in accordance with an international treaty, state media said Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Senior ministry official Yang Qing…

WHO Director-General Calls For Greater Efforts To Reduce Tobacco Use

In a speech on Friday marking the fifth anniversary of an international tobacco control treaty, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan called for government officials worldwide to increase efforts to protect their population from the harmful effects of tobacco, Reuters reports. “Tobacco kills more than 5 million people a year from cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, including about 600,000 from second-hand smoke, according to the United Nations agency,” the news service writes.

Health Groups Urge Restrictions On Tobacco Additives

Following five days of deliberations aimed at “fleshing-out the so-called Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC),” delegates on Saturday “approved a proposal to limit the use of tobacco additives, which critics say improve the flavor of cigarettes, encouraging consumers to smoke more,” Reuters reports (Fleitas, 11/20).

Health Officials Gather In Uruguay To Discuss WHO Anti-Smoking Treaty

“As sales to developing nations become ever more important to giant tobacco companies, they are stepping up efforts around the world to fight tough restrictions on the marketing of cigarettes,” the New York Times reports in an article ahead of a conference in Punta del Este, Uruguay, that started on Monday. There, health officials are debating guidelines to enforce a global anti-smoking treaty known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) (Wilson, 11/13).

TIME Examines Rise Of Alcoholism In Africa

TIME examines a rise in alcoholism rates in Africa, which boasts “the highest proportion of binge drinkers in the world,” writing, “The continent has the perfect emerging-market conditions: a relatively small amount of commercial alcohol is being consumed; there is a rising middle class with disposable income; a huge market…

Renewed Efforts Against Tobacco Use Needed To Move Forward On Sustainable Development

“A billion persons are likely to die from tobacco-related diseases in this century, according to WHO,” and “India is expected to have the highest rate of rise in tobacco related deaths, over the next three decades,” R.K. Pachauri, director of TERI; K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation…