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World Lung Foundation Urges Swift Policy Action During Tobacco Free Awareness Week

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Contact:  Jorge Alday, Public Relations Manager  


(New York) – During Tobacco‐Free Awareness Week, January 25 to 31, 2009, World Lung Foundation urges federal and state policy makers to recognize the disastrous health consequences of tobacco use and to take much overdue action to protect the public.

First, Congress should ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an
international treaty that obligates governments to take measures that protect citizens from
tobacco use. The United States lags behind more than 180 countries in ratifying FCTC despite the fact that more than 400,000 Americans die every year from their own cigarette smoking.
Second, Congress and the new administration should implement the policy interventions
articulated in the World Health Organization's MPOWER report. The report provides a roadmap for governments to effectively implement the FCTC and to make such actions sustainable. The six critical interventions outlined in the MPOWER Report are:

  • Monitoring the epidemic and prevention policies
  • Protecting people from secondhand smoke
  • Offering help to quit tobacco use
  • Warning about the dangers of tobacco
  • Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising and promotion
  • Raising taxes and prices.

"For years the United States has shamefully neglected addressing the most preventable health crisis of our time," said Peter Baldini, Executive Director, World Lung Foundation. "During this year's Tobacco‐Free Awareness Week, we should not have to focus on making it known that tobacco kills. We should focus on the fact that it is possible to become tobacco‐free. The policies are now well documented and so straightforward. It is inexcusable to take no action."

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About World Lung Foundation
World Lung Foundation was established in response to the global epidemic of lung disease, which kills 10 million people each year. The organization improves global lung health by improving local capacity to conduct research, develop public policy and deliver public health education. The organization's areas of emphasis are tobacco control, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, asthma, and child lung health. For more information, please visit
For more information, please contact Jorge Alday, World Lung Foundation at +1 (212) 639 0070 or

World Lung Foundation
61 Broadway, Suite 2800   ·  New York, NY  10006
212-542-8870 (main)   ·
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