World No Tobacco Day 2013 Calls for Tobacco Ad Ban
Countries highlight progress and challenges in fight against tobacco
Posted by: Editor | May 31, 2013
Tobacco control advocates around the world today are marking World No Tobacco Day, organized by the World Health Organization to focus attention on the devastating global toll of tobacco use and the need for nations to take strong action to save lives.
This year, World No Tobacco Day is highlighting the deadly impact of tobacco marketing and calling on nations to ban all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (or to restrict tobacco marketing to the extent allowed by their constitutions).
In the U.S. alone, tobacco companies spend $8.8 billion a year — $1 million an hour — to market their deadly and addictive products. Worldwide, tobacco companies spend billions more to lure new users, especially kids, and keep current customers hooked. By cracking down on these practices, nations can reduce tobacco use — especially among kids.
World No Tobacco Day activities are highlighting both progress and challenges in the global fight against tobacco:
- In Turkey, the Ministry of Health today released results of the country’s 2012 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) showing sharp declines in adult smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke since 2008. Turkey has implemented proven measures to reduce tobacco use, including a national smoke-free law that applies to all restaurants, cafes and bars; graphic warning labels; increased tobacco taxes; and a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
- Ireland this week announced it plans to become the second country after Australia to require plain packaging for tobacco products, free of colorful logos or branding. In 2004, Ireland was the first country to implement a national smoke-free law.
- Across Africa, governments and health advocates are mobilizing to take on the tobacco industry. Because of its traditionally lower rates of tobacco use, Africa has been targeted by the industry as a promising growth market. Health advocates are working to head off this looming plague.
Tobacco use kills nearly six million people worldwide each year and will kill one billion people this century unless countries take urgent and effective action. These deaths are entirely preventable if nations implement proven solutions.
Image source: Flickr user stdbrouw. (Creative Commons).