Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nerina the “Pretty” Mermaid Invaded the Beach!

Yeah, I know many of you will think it is not real and it is true! I admit that. Nerina (and also the scary fish) are the splendid monstrous arts of Juan Cabana. For more photos of interesting mermaids and fish arts,

London: More than 94 per cent of the world's people are not protected by laws against smoking, leaving them exposed to the biggest cause of preventable death, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.

In a Global Tobacco Epidemic report the WHO said smoke-free policies were crucial to reducing the harm caused by second-hand smoke, which it said kills around 600,000 people prematurely each year and causes crippling, disfiguring illness and economic losses reaching tens of billions of dollars.

The report found some progress had been made, with 2.3 per cent of the world's population, or around 154 million people, newly covered by smoke-free laws in 2008. But it warned of many more early deaths if governments did not act quickly.

"The fact that more than 94 per cent of people remain unprotected by comprehensive smoke-free laws shows that much more work needs to be done," said the WHO's expert on non-communicable diseases, Ala Alwan.

Scientific evidence has unequivocally established that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, disease and disability. Over the past four decades, smoking rates have fallen in rich places such as the United States, Japan and western Europe, but they are rising in much of the developing world.

The WHO said seven countries which includes Colombia, Djibouti, Guatemala, Mauritius, Panama, Turkey and Zambia were brought in comprehensive smoke-free laws in 2008, bringing the total to 17.

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world, killing more than 5 million people a year. A report by the World Lung Foundation in August said smoking could kill a billion people this century if trends hold.

"Unless urgent action is taken to control the tobacco epidemic, the annual death toll could rise to 8 million by 2030," the WHO report said.

"More than 80 per cent of those premature deaths would occur in low- and middle-income countries - in other words, precisely where it is hardest to deflect and bear such tremendous losses."

The WHO report found that tobacco control remains severely underfunded, with 173 times as many dollars collected worldwide in tobacco taxes each year than are spent trying to get people to stop smoking.

Progress on implementing bans on tobacco advertising had stalled, it said, and progress on increasing tobacco tax had come to a halt, with nearly 95 per cent of people living in nations where tax is less than 75 per cent of the retail price.