• Short Summary

    The 4th World Conference on Smoking and Health begins in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, on Monday (June 18).

  • Description

    The 4th World Conference on Smoking and Health begins in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, on Monday (June 18). Attending are members of the medical profession, specialists on smoking and government representatives. One of the major speakers is Joseph Califano, the United States' Health and Welfare Secretary, who earlier this year released a major report on the dangers of cigarette smoking.

    SYNOPSIS: Restrictions on smoking are widespread at least in the advanced industrial countries. The reason....over the past 30 years there have been a number of reports saying smoking is harmful to health. In the 1950's evidence of a link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer began to be heard. In 1964 a report from America's Surgeon General concluding that cigarette smoking was associated with lung cancer. In January this year the report from Califano's department said more clearly than ever, cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer.

    The evidence of the risk to health is well known, but what's expected to be a major topic at the Stockholm conference is the rapid spread of smoking in the developing countries. Already, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has been strongly critical of sales techniques used by cigarette companies to increase sales in these countries. The ...organisation has accused the tobacco industry of what it calls irresponsible behaviour and massive campaigns. WHO says that by promoting smoking, companies are causing unnecessary deaths.

    According to a WHO report out last month, cigarette smoking in Third World countries constitutes a health problem which will grow within 30 years to match that of industrialised nations....unless measures are taken to control smoking.

    WHO also say that growing tobacco uses land which could be used for food crops.....and that it leads of deforestation because wood is burnt for the curing process. It's expected the conference will use economic and health arguments to urge developing countries to take action to curb smoking.

    It's likely though, that any moves to curb smoking will be met, as has happened in the United States, by cigarette manufacturers spending money to protect what they see as the unalienable right of their customers to smoke.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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