Smoking on the rise globally: Cigarettes are one of the top causes of preventable deaths worldwide

August 9, 2011

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(AP/Ahn Young-joon)
“Many more people die from smoking than from wars," reads this poster in Seoul, South Korea.

For the first time in history, governments around the world are starting to coordinate their efforts to curb smoking. The fight to tame the global hunger for nicotine is an uphill battle. Worldwide, smoking increases by two percent each year. While U.S. rates had been declining for four decades, levels have plateaued in the last five years. 

Today we speak to Dr. Judith Mackay, senior advisor to the World Lung Foundation. She tells us what she thinks of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world’s first shared public health treaty. So far, 174 countries have ratified the treaty but several power players – including the U.S. – have not given it their full support.