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WHO Anti-tobacco opens in Helsinki

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Helsinki (dpa) - Smoking could claim a billion lives by the end of the 21st century, 33 leading international anti-cancer organizations warned Monday at the beginning of the 12th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Helsinki.

At present, 4.9 million people were dying every day from cancer as a result of smoking, the organizations said in a declaration and called for the swift introduction of effective tobacco control policies.

The week-long conference of the World Health Organization is being attended by about 2.000 representatives from 115 countries. It is due to focus on tobacco control policies, and links between smoking to youth, addiction, culture and religion.

Copyright 2003 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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