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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Call for global crack-down on tobacco promotion

Friday May 31st, 2013

Health officials today called for worldwide bans on tobacco advertising and promotion as part of the drive to reduce smoking rates.

According to the World Health Organisation, a third of the young people who experiment with smoking do so after being exposed to advertising.

The plea to governments was made as today was named World Tobacco Day.

WHO warns that the tobacco industry has proved adept at getting round local bans on advertising, using stealth marketing and new media to promote applications and discussions.

Just 19 countries meet WHO standards for banning advertising promotion - although countries with increasingly tough rules range from Brazil to Ghana and Iran.

WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan said: “Tobacco use ranks right at the very top of the list of universal threats to health yet is entirely preventable.

“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."

British campaigners said the UK was about to lose its place as the European control with the strongest controls after government prevarication over the introduction of plain packages for cigarettes.

Across Europe, heart specialists backed calls for improved efforts to protect children and teenagers from pressure to take up smoking. This included a ban on flavoured cigarettes.

Professor Grethe Tell, of the European Society of Cardiology, said: “We know that the earlier one starts smoking, the more damage the smoke does. One reason is that there is a dose response relationship between how many years one smokes and the risk of cardiovascular disease, so the younger you are when you start, the higher dose you get altogether.

"In addition, the earlier you start smoking, the more addicted you may become and therefore the more difficult it will be to stop smoking later.”

Tags: Drug & Alcohol Abuse | Europe | Heart Health | Respiratory | UK News | World Health

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