Skip to main content

WHO raises alarm over tobacco industry’s tactics

30 May 2012, New Delhi: On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, WHO is urging governments to beware of the tobacco industry’s interference in tobacco control programme. As countries move to meet their obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the tobacco industry is becoming more aggressive in its attempts to undermine the treaty by acting against the policies contained in it.
 The industry is targeting the youth through increased advertising budgets in several countries of the WHO South-East Asia Region. One in ten school students are offered free samples of tobacco products. The tobacco industry has sued central and local governments over the pictorial warnings on cigarette packets claiming that they infringe on the industry’s rights to use their legally-registered brands and freedom of speech. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey shows that health warnings are effective and a large number of tobacco users noticed the warnings and thought of quitting. Similarly, lawsuits have been filed against smoke-free laws against the Ministries of Health. The apex courts later rejected these contentions and upheld the regulations.
 “Governments must protect people’s health from tobacco use and be vigilant about the tobacco industry’s interference in tobacco control measures” said Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia. ”WHO will enhance its support to government initiatives to fight the tobacco industry” he added.
India and Indonesia are among the top ten tobacco leaf producers in the world. In addition the Region is one of the largest producers of smokeless tobacco products. Ninety percent of global smokeless tobacco users live in the Region. Sale of smokeless tobacco products in India  increased by over 25% between 2005 and 2010.
 Ten out of 11 Member States in WHO’s South-East Asia Region are party to WHO FCTC and nine counties have adopted comprehensive tobacco control legislations. Many countries have established smoke-free public places and banned cigarette advertisements. Sale of tobacco to minors is prohibited in most Member States. Global Tobacco Surveillance has been implemented in ten Member States and nationwide Global Adult Tobacco Surveys have been conducted in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Thailand.
Nepal recently prohibited smoking and chewing tobacco in public places, mandated graphic health warnings and provisions for health funds from tobacco taxation.  Thailand has declared all public places 100% smoke-free and banned display of cigarette packs at sale counters. Eight cities were declared smoke-free in Indonesia in spite of the strong influence of the tobacco industry.
Though tobacco and tobacco products are in the sensitive list in South-Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA), the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) aims to eliminate tariff barriers within the Region including tobacco. Tobacco companies in the Region are taking advantage of these liberal cross-border trade areas to the best of their advantage.
 WHO is urging governments to protect public health from the tobacco industry’s interference. Nongovernmental groups and academia must monitor and denounce this interference and the community must remain vigilant.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dear N.K, Over the past few weeks and months,March 2, 2017 Dear N.K, Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve been hard at work in inviting major rail operators to share their success stories at the Rail Power World Congress 2017. I would like to share with you the progress of the premium conferences. We’ve confirmed amazing names like Auckland Transport, Network Rail, RTA Dubai, SNCF, Wiener Linien and more. If you provide energy or power solutions to rail operators and would like to speak alongside senior rail executives, this is the right platform for you. Last 2 speaking slots left in the Rail Power World Congress track for solutions providers
Saina Nehwal win AustralianOpen2016.JUNE 12, 2016EDIT PM Modi  congratulated  Indian ace shutter on her win. Congratulations..!!  beats Sun Yu of China to win. Saina Nehwal clinched her second Australian Open title after defeating China’s Sun Yu in a thrilling three-game final of the Super Series badminton tournament today. The 26-year-old from Hyderabad eked out a 11-21 21-14 21-19 over the World No. 12 Sun in a fighting summit clash that lasted an hour and 11 minutes here. Narendra Modi@narendramodi Congratulations  for the stupendous victory. The entire nation is very proud of your sporting accomplishments. 0 Euro 2016 RussianBrits Fans clashJUNE 12, 2016EDIT Russia equalized less than two minutes before the final whistle, at which point a group of Russian supporters overpowered the stewards separating the two sets of fans. The number of people injured in Marseille clashes over the past three days has risen to 35, according to French daily La …