NewsNorth AfricaBan tobacco ads - World Health Organisation


Posted on Thursday, 30 May 2013 12:20

Ban tobacco ads - World Health Organisation

By Lawrence Quartey

File photo©ReutersThe World Health Organisation (WHO) is urging all countries to ban all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship as the world celebrates World No Tobacco Day' on Friday.


WHO said about a third of youth experimentation with tobacco occured as a result of exposure to tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday that 78 percent of young people aged 13 to 15 years reported regular exposure to some form of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Statistics show that tobacco use kills nearly six million people every year.

WHO said countries that had imposed bans on tobacco advertising had recorded an average of seven percent reduction in consumption.

"Tobacco use ranks right at the very top of the list of universal threats to health yet is entirely preventable," WHO director-general Margaret Chan said in a statement.

"Governments must make it their top priority to stop the tobacco industry's shameless manipulation of young people and women, in particular, to recruit the next generation of nicotine addicts."

However, WHO warned that even when bans were in place, the tobacco industry constantly found new tactics to target potential smokers.

A WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2011 shows only 19 countries had reached the highest level of achievement in banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship with more than one third of the countries having minimal or no restrictions at all.

Ghana, Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Iran, Mauritius, Panama and Vietnam are among the countries making strong progress in banning the last remaining forms of advertising.

By 2030, WHO estimates show that tobacco would kill more than eight million people every year, with four out of five of these deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries. 

Tobacco is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.

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