Aug 26, 2019, 5:02 PM
Journalist ID: 2374
News Code: 83452546
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WHO urges governments to ban tobacco advertising

Tehran, August 26, IRNA -- As called for in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Governments must comprehensively enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (Article 13) at international expos and conferences, in order to ensure their events and programs are tobacco free and that their activities and participants are not sponsored by tobacco companies, the UN information center in Tehran said in a press release on Monday.

The world must unite to halt the tobacco industry’s aggressive marketing of its products, that cause addiction, suffering and millions of deaths each year, said the press release. 

This renewed call comes in light of reports of tobacco companies aiming to establish new partnerships with governments to sponsor events or pavilions in world expos, in a country that has already ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Philip Morris International (PMI) recently announced a partnership with the Government of Switzerland to sponsor the Swiss pavilion in the Dubai World Expo 2020. The Government of Switzerland has reconsidered this partnership, and chosen not to accept the financial support of PMI. WHO welcomes the decision made by the Government of Switzerland and takes this opportunity to encourage the Government to ratify the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), as Switzerland is among a handful of countries that are yet to do so. 

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control includes in Article 5.3 a commitment to protect public health policies with respect to tobacco control from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry. This commitment is reflected in the Memorandum of Understanding of 2011 between WHO and the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which “bans” sponsorship of expos by tobacco companies or their agents or affiliates. Featuring a world-leading producer of tobacco products and cigarettes — the only product that is known to kill half of its consumers, goes against the theme of Dubai’s Expo 2020 “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. Governments must proactively aspire to reduce the number of people starting and continuing smoking, to promote health and preserve future generations.

In accordance with Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, WHO also urges all organizers of international expos and conferences to adopt complete tobacco-free policies providing for protection from exposure from tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and, as appropriate, other public places. Any designated smoking area must be outdoor and designed to discourage smoking and to protect people from tobacco smoke exposures. In addition, governments should:

Ban sales of tobacco or tobacco-related products at expos; Ban sponsorship of expos by tobacco companies or their agents or affiliates; and Ban advertising and promotion of tobacco products, tobacco company brands, and the use of tobacco at expos.

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