The World Health Organization launched a new anti-smoking campaign Wednesday in Europe.
"Smoking kills half a million people in Europe per year. One in four of all those taking up the habit will have their lives shortened by this enormous problem," a WHO official said.
Europe's estimated 250 million smokers consume about 1,800 cigarettes per head per year on average, the highest level in the world, the U.N. organization's figures indicate.
During its campaign, WHO is advocating that countries ban cigarette advertising.