WHO Calls on Governments to Ban Tobacco Advertising
By Diane Smith
The World Health Organization (WHO) called on all governments to forbid all sorts of tobacco advertising. The main goal of this measure is to protect the world's youth from becoming addicted to tobacco. WHO estimated that tobacco could cause as much as one billion premature deaths this century.
The call was made by the WHO on World No Tobacco Day. The surveys carried out by the U.N. organization have shown that the young people who are more exposed to tobacco advertisement are also more likely to start smoking and less likely to quit.
WHO officials accused tobacco producers of using increasingly sophisticated marketing techniques to ensnare young people. The most exposed segment of the population is the girls in poorer countries.
The U.N. organization said only 5% of the world's population was covered by comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
The WHO also said the existing restrictions aren’t enough to efficiently care for the world's 1.8 billion young people who are targeted by tobacco advertising through the internet, magazines and films.
According to the survey, the number of female and adolescent smokers has tripled in the last 10 years in Russia, a country with very few laws against smoking. On the other side, in Canada, a country which severely restricted tobacco advertising, the number of smokers is at its lowest in 40 years.
"The tobacco industry continues to spread its deadly product as the vector of the tobacco epidemic. The tobacco company spends tens of billions of dollars to market its products and tens of billions of dollars a year around the world to particularly develop and study and market to young people, especially in developing countries," said Dr. Douglas Bettcher, the director of WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative.
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