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WHO Backs Taxes on Tobacco and Alcohol and Smoke-Free Laws

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Taxes on tobacco and alcohol, as well as smoke-free laws, are among the recommendations made by the World Health Organization (WHO) to reduce deaths from noninfectious diseases. The recommendations, released this weekend, also include reductions in salt and trans fat in foods, and increased awareness of diet and exercise.

The WHO says these steps could reduce heart disease, cancer, diabetes and lung disease, the leading killers worldwide, CNN reports. The report comes in advance of the United Nations (UN) Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases this week in New York, which will address the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases worldwide.

Other recommendations by the WHO include bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, restricted access to retail alcohol, and bans on alcohol advertising.

Last week, a group of medical organizations from around the world issued a statement calling on doctors to take the lead in demanding action to reduce alcohol misuse, in advance of the UN meeting.

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