Skip to content ↓
Press Room

Web Campaign to Urge Heads-Of-State to Attend UN Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases

Note: World Lung Foundation united with The Union North America. From January 2016, the combined organization is known as “Vital Strategies.”

(March 14, 2011, New York, NY,) – World Lung Foundation today launched to explain the urgent need to address tobacco use at the first-ever UN Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) this September. Tobacco use kills 15,000 people every day, mostly due to cancer, stroke, lung disease, and other NCDs.  

Visitors to the website can learn about tobacco’s deadly impact and the UN Summit and generate letters to their UN ambassador demanding that their country be represented at the highest level. The attendance of heads-of-state, and the participation of civil society leading up to the Summit, is critical to ensuring that NCDs are included in the Millennium Development Goals, which set targets and guide global funding priorities.

Peter Baldini, Chief Executive Officer of World Lung Foundation said: “The time to act is now. NCDs already account for 35 million deaths a year globally, 80% of these deaths are in the world’s poorest countries.  The number-one preventable risk factor is tobacco use, which means concerted global action on tobacco alone could save millions of lives every year.”

“The threat extends far beyond just those who directly suffer from these diseases; according to the World Economic Forum, NCDs are the second most severe threat to the global economy in terms of livelihood and potential economic loss. If governments are serious about the health of their citizens and the economic well-being of their countries, they cannot ignore NCDs or tobacco use. gives citizens a tool to advocate for a UN Summit that results in actions, not words.” forms a central plank of WLF’s commitment to the NCD Alliance, a global coalition representing hundreds of organizations working in the four major NCD disease groups: cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.  The site was developed with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies.