Posted: May 31, 2012 8:52 AM by NBC News (CC)
The World Health Organization is taking on big tobacco companies with an anti-smoking campaign.
Today, May 31, is World No Tobacco Day's 25th anniversary and this year's campaign focuses on countering tobacco industry tactics the WHO says undermine global anti-smoking efforts.
According to the WHO, six million people die from tobacco use worldwide every year and 600,000 of those deaths are caused by second hand smoke.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cigarettes lead to around one in five deaths every year in the United States.
The World Health Organization accuses the tobacco industry of using marketing tactics to target young people and recruit new smokers.
"The tobacco industry is out there selling, marketing, pushing an addictive drug, while millions of people die needlessly. It's not acceptable, it's not ethical, it's not tolerable, and that's why we need to keep fighting on," said Dr. Douglas Bettcher with the World Health Organization.