In a boost for clean air and public health, an international tobacco treaty went into effect yesterday. Signed by 168 nations and ratified by 57, the agreement addresses advertising, packaging, smuggling, and taxes. More than two-thirds of the ratifiers are developing nations — which are expected to account for 70 percent of smoking-related deaths by 2020.

One country that has signed, but not not yet ratified, the pact is — wait for it! — the U.S. “This treaty will save millions of lives … the U.S. is missing the boat,” says Kathryn Mulvey, executive director of Corporate Accountability International. “As both the global tobacco treaty and the Kyoto Protocol take effect with the U.S. on the sidelines, we are calling on our government to join with the global community in prioritizing people’s lives over the profits of giant corporations.”

Best of luck with that.

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