The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

FCA members vigilant on World No Tobacco Day

FCA members globally marked World No Tobacco Day with an array of activities, as you'll see in the photo slideshow below. But they also had to respond to the tobacco industry's attempt to subvert the Day's theme: Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

(Click on an image to see its caption)

Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) was the theme of the World Health Organization’s WNTD 2013. TAPS drives the industry’s marketing, which constantly aims at hooking a new generation of smokers to replace the roughly six million people who die each year from tobacco use.

In Jamaica, The Heart Foundation of Jamaica/Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control spent WNTD responding to a press release from local tobacco company Carreras Ltd.

The company claimed to support “sensible tobacco regulations”, adding, “However, we do not believe that any such restrictions should prevent adult tobacco consumers from receiving information in order to make an informed choice about their tobacco products and brands”.

The statement ignores growing evidence that the industry markets its deadly products to children, as the JCTC pointed out in its media release: “Contrary to the assertion of commercial interests, that marketing efforts are only directed at adults, results from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (2010) indicated that among students in Grades 7,8,9,10 in Jamaica:

  • 59.8 percent saw pro-cigarette ads on billboards, in the past 30 days;
  • 54 percent saw pro-cigarette ads in newspapers or magazines, in the past 30 days;
  • 14.7 percent have an object with a cigarette brand logo;
  • 9.8 percent were offered free cigarettes by a tobacco company representative.”

ASH Australia also had to respond to a tobacco industry press release timed for World No Tobacco Day. By British America Tobacco, the release took aim at tobacco control pioneer, the Australian Government, which is now reviewing the content and additives of tobacco products.

ASH Chairman Professor Matthew Peters responded: “Amidst yet another rant about the pioneering Australian plain packaging legislation, BATA has attempted to fire a shot across the bows of moves to reduce the addictive nature of tobacco through controls on content manipulation.”

In Ghana, members of Vision for Alternative Development spoke about the WNTD theme on television. They also noted this strongly-worded statement from Minister of Health Sherry-Hanny Ayittey:

“We call on all Ghanaians to free themselves from tobacco industry manipulation by learning about the cunning and unscrupulous marketing techniques used by the industry to trap people into using tobacco,” said the statement.

“The ministry and its collaborating partners will ensure complete implementation of a comprehensive ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, as called for in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and in accordance with the Tobacco Control Measures in the public Health Act,” the minister added.

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