Tomorrow is World No Tobacco Day
By Public Health Gibraltar
Tobacco products kill more than 8 million people every year and over 1 million people die from second-hand smoke exposure. Evidence indicates that tobacco use is responsible for 25% of all cancer deaths globally; also increasing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease.
Each year, tobacco companies spend over 8 billion in marketing and globally we lose 8 million lives from causes related to tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke.
This World No Tobacco Day the World Health Organisation (WHO) is launching a counter-marketing campaign in response to the tobacco industries’ sustained tactics to hook a new generation of users. The global campaign will expose myths and provide young people with the knowledge required to easily detect industry manipulation. WHO calls on all young people to be involved with this campaign, and encourages everyone to become educated, spread awareness and create a tobacco-free generation.
Tactics used by tobacco and related industries to market to children and adolescents include:
Over 15,000 flavours to attract children and adolescents
Social media influencers and marketing
Sponsored events and parties
Sleek, sexy designs
Product placement in entertainment media
Free product samples
Single stick cigarettes (making addiction more affordable)
Selling products at eye level for children
Product placement and advertising near schools
WHO urges a united approach to join the fight against the tobacco epidemic:
Celebrities and social influencers – Reject offers of “brand ambassadorship”; refuse any form of sponsorship by nicotine and tobacco industries.
Social media companies – Ban advertising, promotion and sponsorship by the nicotine and tobacco industries; forbid influencer marketing of tobacco or nicotine products.
Film, television or drama production companies – Pledge not to depict tobacco use or e-cigarette use.
Parents and relatives – Educate children and adolescents on the harms of nicotine and tobacco product use; empower them to reject industry manipulation.
Nurses and health practitioners – Provide children, adolescents, young adults and their parents with updated information about the risks associated with use of tobacco products; empower users to quit by offering cessation advice.
Schools – Highlight the dangers of commencing nicotine and tobacco product use, adopt tobacco and e-cigarette free campuses, refuse any form of sponsorship by the nicotine and tobacco industries, and prohibit representatives from nicotine and tobacco companies from speaking at school events.
Youth groups – Organize local events to engage and educate; build a movement for a tobacco-free generation. Promote the adoption of effective tobacco control policies in your community to curb and prevent the manipulation of nicotine and tobacco industries
National and local governments – Support the implementation of comprehensive tobacco control policies, as outlined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This can help prevent industry evasion of tobacco control legislation and exploitation of regulatory loopholes, protect children and adolescents from industry manipulation and prevent younger generations from initiating nicotine and tobacco product use.