The World Health Organization (WHO) says that tobacco will kill nearly 6 million people in 2011, including 600,000 nonsmokers. According to the WHO, governments are not doing enough to help people quit smoking or to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke.
The WHO’s estimates show that tobacco could kill 8 million people a year by 2030, Reuters reports. The organization urged more governments to sign its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a tobacco control treaty that has already been signed by 172 countries and the European Union. The treaty requires countries to take action to reduce smoking rates, lessen exposure to secondhand smoke, and limit tobacco advertising and promotion.
The WHO pointed to several recent successes, including Uruguay’s requirement that health warnings cover 80 percent of the surface of tobacco packages and China’s recent implementation of a ban on smoking in public places including restaurants and bars.