According to the World Health Organization (see: http://www.who.int/en/), tobacco is the second biggest cause of death in the world and is responsible for about 5 million deaths each year, or one of every 10 adult deaths. Smoking will kill 10 million people per year by 2020 if current smoking patterns continue. Half of the people who smoke today, about 650 million people, will eventually die from tobacco-related illness.
On February 27, 2005, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) came into force. Countries that signed the treaty are bound by its provisions, which include tobacco advertising bans, price and tax increases, and measures to protect against second-hand smoke. There are 168 signatories to the treaty.
Earlier in the month, Cuba, which is famous for its cigars, instituted new anti-smoking regulations which will ban smoking in many workplaces and the sale of cigarettes near schools.