Now Our Personal Choices Are Subject To International Scrutiny

CNN.com – WHO demands anti-smoking support – Feb. 17, 2003
The World Health Organization hasn’t even achieved its original mandate of eradicating communicable diseases and now it’s trying to stick its nose into private, however foolish, choices of individuals on an international scale. This is an organization that is just screaming out for better management, or less funding from the U.S.

One of the leading killers in third world countries is diarrhea and the dehydration it leads to. A solution is readily available in the form of salt tablets — and they’re cheap!! Fix that and all other communicable diseases, then we’ll talk about smoking.

Calls have been made for support for a global pact against smoking to save 500 million lives threatened by tobacco-related diseases and products.

Health activists have condemned as too week the plan put forward by World Health Organization director-general Gro Harlem Brundtland.

But speaking on Monday, she said: “We may think the tobacco industry would want a bland and unambitious treaty. Even more, it would love a treaty that never will be ratified by a large number of key countries.”

WHO countries launched negotiations on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control — the first global health treaty — in October 1999 in a bid to curb deaths from smoking-related diseases.

On Monday the 192 member countries of the United Nations agency began a final round of treaty negotiations on smoking.

Activists have accused the United States, Japan and Germany, all home to powerful tobacco industries, of seeking to weaken the WHO text, particularly in areas such as advertising.

Regarding advertising, there could be first amendment problems. The reason the states were able to get away with it is because the tobacco companies agreed to it as part of the larger settlement.

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