WHO Calls For Ban On Tobacco Advertising On World No Tobacco Day

In recognition of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the WHO “is calling on countries to ban all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, saying such [a] marketing blackout could reduce tobacco use and save lives,” VOA News reports. “According to WHO data, tobacco use kills nearly six million people annually; by 2030 that number is expected to rise to more than eight million, with four out of five deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries,” the news agency writes (Schlein, 5/29). Douglas Bettcher, head of the WHO’s non-communicable disease division, said, “Banning tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship is one of the best ways to protect young people from starting smoking as well as reducing tobacco consumption across the entire population,” according to Agence France-Presse. “Bettcher noted that as of 2011, 19 nations had introduced total bans — and seen a seven-percent reduction in tobacco use — while one-third of countries had minimal or no restrictions,” the news agency writes (5/30).