By Jerilyn Watson

This is Bill White with the VOA Special English DEVELOPMENT REPORT.

Each year, more than four-million people die from illnesses caused by smoking tobacco. Health experts say more than ten-million people will die because of tobacco-linked diseases in twenty years. Developing nations are expected to suffer the most deaths from smoking.

The World Health Organization has declared war on tobacco. Health experts are working to stop the spread of tobacco use. For example, about four-thousand delegates are attending a meeting in the United States about tobacco. People from two-hundred countries are meeting this week at the Eleventh World Conference on Tobacco OR Health in Chicago, Illinois.

The conference goal is to decrease tobacco use throughout the world. The director-general of the WHO, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and former American Surgeon General C. Everett Koop will speak at the meeting.

The American Medical Association is among the organizers of the tobacco conference.

The Journal of the American Medical Association will announce new research about tobacco this week. The results will appear in a special Journal publication. Such research is a main subject of the tobacco conference. Delegates will discuss the science of addiction, or physical dependence on tobacco. They will discuss international tobacco marketing and the use of tobacco by young people around the world. They also will talk about ways to stop smoking.

The WHO says seventy percent of tobacco users live in developing countries. WHO official Derek Yach (pronounced yahk) says it is not surprising that seventy percent of smoking-related deaths in the next twenty years will happen in those countries. He spoke at a recent meeting of the Global Health Council near Washington.

Some nations are considering or starting efforts against tobacco. For example, Malaysia's health ministry recently urged a media ban on paid advertising messages by tobacco companies. Britain also is studying the possibility of banning such advertising. Australia has started publishing strong anti-tobacco messages aimed at women. And, Switzerland has raised taxes on tobacco.

A World Bank study has shown that raising tobacco taxes is the best way to reduce smoking.

This VOA Special English DEVELOPMENT REPORT was written by Jerilyn Watson. This is Bill White.

Voice of America Special English