UN health agency calls for banning of tobacco advertisingListen /
On World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on governments around the world to ban all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
The agency says these measures will help reduce the number of tobacco users noting that in countries where the ban has been implemented, tobacco consumption has been reduced by an average of 7 per cent.
World No Tobacco Day is observed on 31 May each year to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
Dr Douglas Bettcher is the Director of WHO's Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases Department.
"This year the theme 'banning all forms advertising, promotion and sponsorship is a very important one. It's a life-saving measure. Tobacco currently kills over six million people per year and we know that advertising, promotion and sponsorship is one of the main mechanisms by which the tobacco industry ruthlessly attempts to addict young people, to initiate tobacco use and also how they encourage existing tobacco users to continue." (28")
The World Health Organization says tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally.
In his message for the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges all countries to live up to their commitments under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and implement a comprehensive ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.